Monday, February 28, 2011

Discovery - end of an era!

Discovery on it's final launch February 24th
As I write this, the space shuttle Discovery is docked to the International Space Station for the very last time. It first launched in 1984 and has completed 39 successful missions. Discovery delivered the HUBBLE Telescope bringing a window into the universe from space and later returned to service HUBBLE.

Sadly, there are only two more Shuttle missions before the entire programme is ended...I wonder how they are going to carry on servicing the ISS? It must be fantastic for the astronauts to look out of the window to see Discovery arriving for the final time!

Discover on it's first flight in 1984.

Discovery has flown 38 flights, completed 5,247 orbits, and spent 322 days in orbit. Discovery is the orbiter fleet leader, having flown more flights than any other orbiter in the fleet, including four in 1985 alone. Discovery flew all three "return to flight" missions after the Challenger and Columbia disasters: STS-26 in 1988, STS-114 in 2005, and STS-121 in 2006. Discovery is presently flying the second to last space shuttle mission STS-133, having launched on (NET) Feb. 24, 2011.

STS-41-D: First flight
STS-51-D: Carried first incumbent United States member of Congress into space, Senator Jake Garn (RUtah)
STS-26: Return to space after Challenger disaster (STS-51-L)
STS-31: Launch of Hubble Space Telescope
STS-60: First Russian launched in an American spacecraft (Sergei Krikalev)
STS-95: Second flight of John Glenn, oldest man in space and third incumbent member of Congress to enter space
STS-92: The 100th Space Shuttle mission
STS-114: Return to space after Columbia disaster (STS-107)
STS-116: First night time launch of a shuttle since the Columbia disaster. Last Shuttle launch from LC-39B
STS-131: Longest mission for this orbiter