Space Shuttle Discovery Launches on Final Voyage

Space Shuttle Discovery Launches on Final Voyage

Space Shuttle Discovery Launches on Final Voyage. Image credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller.

NASA’s spaceship Discovery launched into orbit for the final on Thursday on its way to the International Space Station in a flight that signals the winding down of the era of the space shuttle.

The crew on board comprises six veteran and experienced NASA astronauts who were happy to get off the ground after repairs to the space shuttles fuel tank held up the launch for almost four months. When the spaceship that has traveled further than any other returns to Earth in 11 days time it will get a much deserved retirement and then be on display in a museum.

NASA has three space shuttles still in service and the oldest, Discovery, will be the first one to be decommissioned. Endeavor and Atlantis each have one more mission to complete and then they too will be out of service and the three decade old space shuttle program will come to an end.

Mike Leinbach was the launch director for Discovery’s final mission into space and he admitted that it was going to be tough on NASA personnel to watch the space shuttle go off on a flight for the 39th and last time but even harder when it comes back on the 7th of March.  We love doing this, it’s very personal and gets into your soul, he added.

Emotions in the control room ran high as the veteran Discovery left the launch pad in a fiery farewell to Earth and flew a graceful arc over the blue waters of the Atlantic on the way to complete its last mission.

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