Space shuttle Atlantis Commander Chris Ferguson Answers
Space shuttle Atlantis Commander Chris Ferguson (L) reaches in to tame the zero-G hairdo of fellow astronaut Sandy Magnus after a question about her hair from a reporter during the last crew news conference from a shuttle in this image from NASA TV July 20, 2011. Joining Ferguson and Magnus in the newser are Rex Walheim and Pilot Doug Hurley (R). REUTERS

As the space shuttle Atlantis safely touched down at 5:57 a.m. Thursday morning at Kennedy Space Center, it marked the end of one era of American space exploration. A call from President Barack Obama at the White House to Commander Chris Ferguson and the crew of the July 15 mission of NASA space shuttle Atlantis, President Obama praised the work of the thousands of men and women who have poured their hearts and souls into America's space shuttle program over the last three decades. Obama adds, I want to say thank you, you've helped our country lead the space age and you continue to inspire us.