Atlantis/STS 135 is planned to undock this Monday 18 July and land this Wednesday 20 July.
This will mark the end of the multi-purpose spaceplane programme's three-decade era of human spaceflight.
The European Space Agency has been closely associated to the Space Shuttle: more than twenty European astronauts flew aboard its orbiters.
The Space Shuttle launched several payloads for ESA, in a wide range of activities, from Spacelab to Columbus - the laboratory currently attached to the International Space Station.
The Shuttle was used for many astronomy missions lead by ESA or with an ESA involvement such as Ulysses or the Hubble Space Telescope.
This story recalls the fruitful cooperation between ESA and NASA using the Space Shuttle with Jorg Feustel-Büechl, former ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations.