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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Veteran Space Shuttle Discovery Touches Down For The Last Time

• popsci.com

With NASA’s space shuttle program in full wind-down, it seems like there are a lot of “lasts” in America’s storied, three-decade Space Transportation System. Space shuttle Discovery successfully touched down at Kennedy Space Center in Florida just before noon today, marking the end of STS-133 and Discovery’s final mission, the 39th and last flight for the busiest spacecraft in NASA’s shuttle fleet.

A quick eulogy for Discovery: It has spent 365 days in space (that’s a full year in orbit), carried more crew members into space than any other shuttle, made more orbits than any other shuttle in the fleet, and docked with both Mir and the International Space Station (the latter multiple times, because Discovery built the ISS). Discovery launched the Hubble Space Telescope and the solar exploring Ulysses spacecraft.

 

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