Congratulations, Atlantis, on a flawless final liftoff!
You can watch a beautiful 2:33 minute video of it on the NASA Multimedia page, which WordPress will unfortunately not allow me to embed. Be sure to view it in full screen.
My favorite part: one second before liftoff, the moment when the solid fuel rocket boosters ignite. Prior to that, only the shuttle’s main engines are firing, and all of the exhaust is going to the left side of the launch pad. With the ignition of the rocket boosters, a huge plume of exhaust goes shooting off to the right, and one second after that the shuttle rises from the launch pad.
It’s hard to believe we’ll never see that again. I can only hope that someday, in the not too distant future, we will be able to watch something even more impressive. The future of humanity is in the stars; we must not stop our explorations.