NASA beamed up a prerecorded message by the British superstar, as well as a half-minute of his Apollo-era 1972 song, which was inspired by space exploration.
"Good morning, Atlantis, this is Elton John. We wish you much success on your mission and a huge thank you to all the men and women at NASA who worked on the shuttle for the last three decades."
"Elton John. Music legend. Wow. That is absolutely fantastic," replied Atlantis' commander, Christopher Ferguson. "I think it just illustrates ... the amount of people globally who have been affected by the shuttle program itself."
Atlantis delivered a year's worth of food, clothes and other supplies to the International Space Station. Crews spent Wednesday moving fresh supplies and packing up unneeded equipment to bring back to Earth.
The last spacewalk of NASA's 30-year shuttle era wrapped up successfully Tuesday. Atlantis' 13-day mission is the last ever for the space shuttle program. After that, the three surviving shuttles will become museum displays.
The Associated Press contributed to this story