Space Shuttle Discovery lands for final time
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The Florida at 11:57 AM EST (16:57 UTC) for what is scheduled to be the final time in its operational career.successfully landed Wednesday at the in
Upon landing, the shuttle and its six-person crew wrapped up the International Space Station (ISS) including , the first dexterous humanoid robot in space, the , and .mission, the Discovery's 39th and final flight into space. STS-133 launched on February 24, after several launch delays since last November due to numerous technical issues. During the twelve-day mission, the crew transported supplies and parts to the
During the mission, two spacewalks were performed by astronautsand to install parts and perform maintenance on the exterior of the orbiting laboratory.
Six astronauts and cosmonauts, members of thecrew, remain aboard the ISS to carry out a long-duration mission aboard the outpost.
STS-133 is Discovery's 39th and final mission into space, the 35th shuttle mission to the ISS, and the 133rd flight in the entire. Discovery has docked with two different space stations, and the ISS, and was the first shuttle to fly after both the and . Discovery made its maiden flight on in 1984, having since become the most experienced and oldest surviving space shuttle, and delivering payloads to orbit such as the and becoming the .
Discovery, having completed its final flight, has been offered by NASA to theof the in Washington, D.C., to display to the public. The museum, however, is in the process of determining how to obtain the funds necessary to transfer the shuttle. A decision regarding this possibility is expected to be made in April.
A NASA commentator describes Wednesday's landing as "the end of a historic journey. To a ship that has led the way, time and time again, we bid farewell to Discovery."
Two remaining shuttle flights are scheduled later this year,and , before the retirement of the space shuttle fleet.
- "Space shuttle Discovery completes its final mission" — , March 9, 2011
- Scott Powers. "Space shuttle Discovery comes home to KSC for 39th and final time" — , March 9, 2011
- Justin Ray. "Mission Status Center" — , March 9, 2011
- "NASA – STS-133 Mission Information" — , March 9, 2011