“Space, the final frontier. These have been the voyages of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her 30-year mission: To seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together on the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before.”
Ok so being an astronaut is undoubtedly one of the coolest things ever, if not one of the hardest things to achieve, but without the hardware to get them into space they would have nothing to do. And so it came to pass that at 8:37 EST today, the space shuttle Discovery, now the oldest orbiter in the fleet un-docked from the International space station, and began its final journey home.
It’s future, to spend it’s retirement in the Smithsonian air and space museum. With only 2 flights left (Endeavor is slated for April 19 and Atlantis June 28 (happy birthday me!) this is the ending of an era (more on that at a later date)
When it comes to spacecraft Discovery has no equal, first flown in 1984 it performed the three “return to flight” missions (First flight after Challenger and 2 after Columbia) Launced the Hubble space telescope, returning twice to service it. It also flew John Glenn (1st american to obrit the earth) on his historic flight in 1998.