Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Space Shuttle Discovery's Last Mission

The Space shuttle Discovery blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for its final mission to the International Space Station on February 24. Prior to this mission, Discovery had flown 38 flights, completed 5,247 orbits, and spent 322 days in orbit, logging a total of143 million miles. Discovery is the orbiter fleet leader, having flown more flights than any other orbiter in the fleet.

Discovery's launch last week will be followed by the space shuttles Endeavour in April and Atlantis in June. When Atlantis makes its return to earth this summer, it will be the final time a space shuttle will enter earth's atmosphere, as the program is to be dismantled. Discovery's launch has been called "the beginning of the end of the U.S. space-shuttle program" by The Chicago Tribune.

The following images from the final mission were released by NASA.

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