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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 June 2007, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
In pictures: Shuttle launch

Atlantis lifts off from launch.

Space shuttle Atlantis has launched from the US Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the first shuttle mission of 2007.

Flags fly near the Space Shuttle Atlantis as it sits on launch pad 39-a in preparation for launch

The countdown to the launch went smoothly, to the delight of many spectators.

A weather sock indicating light winds is seen near the Space Shuttle Atlantis

And the weather was kind too, as the shuttle took off in near perfect conditions.

The solid rocket boosters on the space shuttle Atlantis light up ponds during lift-off

In less than nine minutes it reached orbit, before heading for the International Space Station, on an 11-day mission.

Spectators watch as space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center.

Spectators had gathered to watch the awe-inspiring sight.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis leaves a comp trail after lift off

As the shuttle disappeared from sight, it left behind a magnificent view.

The seven astronauts leaving the Operations and Checkout building for a trip to the launch pad.

Once they reach the space station, the seven astronauts will continue installation work, including a new pair of solar panels.






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