Space shuttle Discovery has its final liftoff

February 25, 2011, 8:30 am

It is nearly four months late but the Space Shuttle Discovery has blasted off for the final time on Thursday afternoon. The event marks the shuttle’s final mission to the International Space Station before it is retired next month. Discovery is 27 years old and is currently NASA’s oldest and most used shuttle. It lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 4:53 PM with a crew of six astronauts, tens of thousands of spectators came to cheer the shuttle on during its final voyage. It was the 39th liftoff for Discovery.

This is an 11 day mission, commanded by astronaut Steve Lindsey. They will deliver supplies and a humanoid robot to the International Space Station. The launch marks the beginning of the end of the space shuttle program, 30 years after NASA began launching reusable spaceships. These shuttles could multi-task, and were able to do everything from launching satellites to building the space station by itself. After Endeavour in April and Atlantis now set for June NASA will have no manned space rocket for the first time in 60 years.

Source: The Orlando Sentinel

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