Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, is towed from the shuttle runway back to the orbiter processing facility, ending its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center.
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<b>Pictures:</b> Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-133

Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, is towed from the shuttle runway back to the orbiter processing facility, ending its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, is towed to the orbiter processing facility from the runway, ending its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, ends its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Kennedy Space Center workers hug Wednesday, March 9, 2011as space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, background, ends its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing at Kennedy Space Center(Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Kennedy Space Center workers hug Wednesday, March 9, 2011as space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, background, ends its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing at Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Kennedy Space Center workers hug Wednesday, March 9, 2011as space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, background, ends its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing at Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
With its drag chute deployed space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, ends its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
With its drag chute deployed space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, ends its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
With its drag chute deployed space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, ends its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
With its drag chute deployed space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, ends its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, makes its final approach ending its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, ends its historic career after the crew of 6 astronauts made a picture-perfect landing Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
e space shuttle Discovery lands at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, March 9, 2011. The space shuttle Discovery capped a successful 13-day spaceflight with a smooth landing in Florida on Wednesday, ending a 27-year flying career for NASA’s most-traveled spaceship as the agency prepares for an uncertain future.  (JOE SKIPPER, REUTERS)
The space shuttle Discovery lands at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, March 9, 2011. The space shuttle Discovery capped a successful 13-day spaceflight with a smooth landing in Florida on Wednesday, ending a 27-year flying career for NASA’s most-traveled spaceship as the agency prepares for an uncertain future.  (JOE SKIPPER, REUTERS)
The space shuttle Discovery lands at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, March 9, 2011. The space shuttle Discovery capped a successful 13-day spaceflight with a smooth landing in Florida on Wednesday, ending a 27-year flying career for NASA’s most-traveled spaceship as the agency prepares for an uncertain future.  (PIERRE DUCHARME, REUTERS)
In the grasp of the International Space Station’s Canadarm2, the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) is transferred from space shuttle Discovery’s payload bay to be permanently attached to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Unity node in this March 1, 2011 NASA handout image. Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the scene.  (HO, AFP/Getty Images)
Backdropped by the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere and the blackness of space, a docked Russian Soyuz spacecraft (R), a portion of the International Space Station’s Quest airlock and solar array panels are featured in this March 1, 2011 NASA handout image photographed by an STS-133 crew member while space shuttle Discovery remains docked with the station.  (HO, AFP/Getty Images)
Expedition 26 and STS-133 crew members pose for a photo in the newly-attached Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) of the International Space Station while space shuttle Discovery remains docked with the station in this March 1, 2011 NASA handout image. Clockwise from lower left are: NASA astronauts Scott Kelly, Expedition 26 commander; Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Nicole Stott, all STS-133 mission specialists; Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Kaleri, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, all Expedition 26 flight engineers; NASA astronaut Steve Lindsey, STS-133 commander; European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli, Expedition 26 flight engineer; NASA astronauts Eric Boe, STS-133 pilot; and Michael Barratt, STS-133 mission specialist.  (HO, AFP/Getty Images)
This NASA March 1, 2011 handout image the newly-attached Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), docked space shuttle Discovery (STS-133) and the Canadian-built Dextre, also known as the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (SPDM), photographed by an Expedition 26 crew member on the International Space Station. The blackness of space and Earth’s horizon provide the backdrop for the scene.  (HO, AFP/Getty Images)
In the grasp of the International Space Station’s Canadarm2, the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) is transferred from space shuttle Discovery’s payload bay to be permanently attached to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Unity node in this photo provided by NASA and taken March 1, 2011.  (NASA, REUTERS)
Space shuttle Discovery commander Steve Lindsey (C) answers a question during a crew news conference from aboard the International Space Station in this image from NASA TV March 3, 2011. The astronauts are (L-R) Steve Bowen, Lindsay, Michael Barratt, Alvin Drew, Nicole Stott and pilot Eric Boe.  (NASA TV, REUTERS)
This NASA TV framegrab shows Discovery shuttle astronaut Steve Bowen takes some photographs during the second spacewalk March 2, 2011 outside of the International Space Station (ISS). Steve Bowen and Alvin Drew embarked on their second spacewalk together at 10:42 Eastern time (1542 GMT) to complete work on a failed ammonia pump, remove installation on the Tranquility module and install spare parts on the Canadian robot Dextre.  (HO, AFP/Getty Images)
Astronaut Steve Bowen tries unsuccessfully to re-attach the helmet lights to helmet of fellow spacewalker Alvin Drew as the pair work outside the International Space Station in this image from NASA TV March 2, 2011.  (NASA TV, REUTERS)
This NASA TV framegrab shows Discovery shuttle astronaut Steve Bowen’s view as he takes some photographs during the second spacewalk March 2, 2011 outside of the International Space Station (ISS). Steve Bowen and Alvin Drew embarked on their second spacewalk together at 10:42 Eastern time (1542 GMT) to complete work on a failed ammonia pump, remove installation on the Tranquility module and install spare parts on the Canadian robot Dextre.  (HO, AFP/Getty Images)
Spacewalker Steve Bowen works aboard the International Space Station’s robot arm in this image from NASA TV March 2, 2011. The spacewalkers are performing several tasks including venting ammonia from a failed pump module and removing an adapter plate and insulation from the Tranquility node of the space station.  (NASA TV, REUTERS)
This NASA TV framegrab shows Discovery shuttle astronaut Steve Bowen(C top) during the second spacewalk March 2, 2011 outside of the International Space Station (ISS). Steve Bowen and Alvin Drew embarked on their second spacewalk together at 10:42 Eastern time (1542 GMT) to complete work on a failed ammonia pump, remove installation on the Tranquility module and install spare parts on the Canadian robot Dextre.  (HO, AFP/Getty Images)
Astronaut Steve Bowen works outside the International Space Station during his spacewalk in this image from NASA TV March 2, 2011. Bowen and fellow spacewalker Alvin Drew are performing several tasks including venting ammonia from a failed pump module and removing an adapter plate and insulation from the Tranquility node of the space station.  (NASA TV, REUTERS)
Astronauts Steve Bowen (L) and Alvin Drew (R) participate in the mission’s first spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station in this photo provided by NASA and taken February 28, 2011. (NASA, REUTERS)
In this handout image provided by NASA, backdropped by the blackness of space and Earth’s horizon, the Japanese Kibo complex of the International Space Station is seen while space shuttle Discovery remains docked with the station February 26, 2011 in Space. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, backdropped by a blue and white part of Earth, space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, partial view of the starboard wing of the space shuttle Discovery during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. As part of the survey and part of every mission’s activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, underside view of the nose of the space shuttle Discovery was provided during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space StationFebruary 26, 2011 in Space. As part of the survey and part of every mission’s activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, controlled by the STS-133 astronauts inside space shuttle Discovery’s cabin, the Remote Manipulator System/Orbiter Boom Sensor System (RMS/OBSS) equipped with special cameras, begins to conduct thorough inspections of the shuttle’s thermal tile system on flight day 2 February 25, 2011 in Space. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, backdropped by a cloud-covered part of Earth, space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Docking occurred at 2:14 p.m. (EST) Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, partial view of the port wing of the space shuttle Discovery during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. As part of the survey and part of every mission’s activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, backdropped by a cloud-covered part of Earth, space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Docking occurred at 2:14 p.m. (EST) Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, the International Space Station is seen from space shuttle Discovery as the shuttle approaches the station during rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, the crew cabin and forward payload bay of the space shuttle Discovery during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. As part of the survey and part of every mission’s activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, backdropped by a blue and white part of Earth, space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, the crew cabin and forward payload bay of the space shuttle Discovery during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. As part of the survey and part of every mission’s activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, the International Space Station is seen from space shuttle Discovery as the shuttle approaches the station during rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, backdropped by a cloud-covered part of Earth, space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Docking occurred at 2:14 p.m. (EST) Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station.  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, backdropped by a blue and white part of Earth, the aft section of space shuttle Discovery, currently docked with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station  (NASA, Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by NASA, February 26, 2011 in Space. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station. (NASA, Getty Images)
Spacewalker Steve Bowen moves into position aboard the International Space Station’s robotic arm as he works outside the station in this image from NASA TV February 28, 2011. Bowen and fellow spacewalker Alvin Drew’s work include preparing for Tuesday’s attachment of the Permanent Multipurpose Module to the Unity node of the station as well as other tasks.  (NASA TV, REUTERS)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, blasts off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, blasts off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, blasts off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, blasts off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, blasts off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, blasts off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, blasts off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 blast off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 blast off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 blast off Thursday, February 24, 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center on its final flight.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
The space shuttle Discovery streak across the sky, in this view from Maitland, during its final launch from Kennedy Space Center, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011.  (JOE BURBANK, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
The space shuttle Discovery lifts off February 24, 2011 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission to the International Space Station. This will be the 39th and final flight for Discovery.  (STAN HONDA, AFP/Getty Images)
The space shuttle Discovery lifts off February 24, 2011 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission to the International Space Station. This will be the 39th and final flight for Discovery.  (STAN HONDA, AFP/Getty Images)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on February 24, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. As the Shuttle Program winds down, Space Shuttle Discovery is on its 39th and final mission to the International Space Station.  (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on February 24, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. As the Shuttle Program winds down, Space Shuttle Discovery is on its 39th and final mission to the International Space Station.  (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)
Spectators use their phones to photograph and record the space shuttle Discovery lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, February 24, 2011. Six astronauts are aboard on a mission to the International Space Station.  (SCOTT AUDETTE, REUTERS)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on February 24, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. As the Shuttle Program winds down, Space Shuttle Discovery is on its 39th and final mission to the International Space Station.  (Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (TOM BURTON, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (TOM BURTON, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Karen Bellville Beaman, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Karen Bellville Beaman, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Wes Meltzer, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133. (Jackie Gilovoy, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Jackie Gilovoy, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Jackie Gilovoy, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Jackie Gilovoy, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Kennedy Space Center for the last time on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 on STS-133.  (Jackie Gilovoy, Orlando Sentinel)
About 150 people with the Discovery Launch Tweetup gathering visit the countdown clock at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, February 24, 2011. The final launch of the space shuttle Discovery is scheduled for later in the day. (Tom Burton, Orlando Sentinel)
The AstroVan takes the six astronauts of STS-133 to launch pad 39-A before the successful launch of space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (TOM BURTON, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Musician Herbie Hancock, left, and Bill Nye the Science Guy were among the celebrities witnessing the final launch of space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (TOM BURTON, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Gov. Rick Scott was among the politicians on hand for the launch of space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (TOM BURTON, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Six astronauts from Discovery STS-133 make their way out of the Operations & Checkout Building launch pad 31-A ahead of today’s space launch at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Six astronauts from Discovery STS-133 make their way out of the Operations & Checkout Building launch pad 31-A ahead of today’s space launch at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Astronauts Nicole Stott (left) and Alvin Drew (right), mission specialists for Discovery STS-133, make their way out of the Operations & Checkout Building launch pad 31-A ahead of today’s space launch at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Astronauts Nicole Stott (left) and Michael Barratt (right), mission specialists for Discovery STS-133, make their way out of the Operations & Checkout Building launch pad 31-A ahead of today’s space launch at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Astronauts Nicole Stott (left) and Michael Barratt (right), mission specialists for Discovery STS-133, make their way out of the Operations & Checkout Building launch pad 31-A ahead of today’s space launch at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
A support helicopter flies by the Vehicle Assembly Building before the AstroVan carries the six astronauts to the launch pad drives by on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (Dan Sandler, Orlando Sentinel)
The six astronauts of STS-133 ride aboard the AstroVan on the way to launch pad 39-A at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011.  (Jackie Gilovoy, Orlando Sentinel)
The six astronauts of STS-133 ride aboard the AstroVan on the way to launch pad 39-A at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011.  (Dan Sandler, Orlando Sentinel)
Emery Grimm, 7, Mallory, 4, and their mother Margaret of Lexington, Kentucky find refuge in their tent Thursday at Space View Park in Titusville, Fl. The Grimm family was here in November during the first launch attempt and wanted to come back to witness the final flight of space shuttle Discovery scheduled to launch today at 4:50pm. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Danny Holmes,left, and Bilie Holmes of Newnan, Ga. at Space View Park in Titusville, Fl. Thursday to witness the final flight of space shuttle Discovery scheduled to launch today at 4:50pm. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
The rotating service structure rolls back Wednesday, February 23, 2011, revealing shuttle Discovery, STS-133, on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery is schedued for Thursday, February 24, 2011, at 4:50 p.m.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
The rotating service structure rolls back Wednesday, February 23, 2011, revealing shuttle Discovery, STS-133, on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery is schedued for Thursday, February 24, 2011, at 4:50 p.m.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
The Coast Guard patrols a lagoon as shuttle Discovery, STS-133 sits on launch pad 39A. (RED HUBER/ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach, center, welcomes astronaut Steve Bowen as the crew of the space shuttle Discovery STS-133 arrives Sunday, February 20, 2011, to the Kennedy Space Center for the launch scheduled for Thursday at 4:50pm. Bowen is replacing astronaut Tim Kopra who was injured in a bicycle accident. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel)

Kennedy Space Center director Robert Cabana, second from left, talks with NASA administrator Charlie Bolden, right, with shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach as the crew of the space shuttle Discovery STS-133 arrives Sunday, February 20, 2011, to the Kennedy Space Center for the launch scheduled for Thursday at 4:50pm.

 (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronaut Nicole Stott waves Sunday, February 20, 2011, after arriving to the Kennedy Space Center for the launch scheduled for Thursday at 4:50pm. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 astronauts, left to right, Cmdr. Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe ,Steve Bowen, Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott, arrive Sunday, February 20, 2011, to the Kennedy Space Center for the launch scheduled for Thursday at 4:50 p.m. Mission Specialist Steve Bowen replaced Tim Kopra, who was injured in a bicycle accident. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronaut Steve Bowen, left, arrives Sunday, February 20, 2011, in a T38 training jet to the Kennedy Space Center for the launch scheduled for Thursday at 4:50 p.m. Mission Specialist Steve Bowen replaced Tim Kopra, who was injured in a bicycle accident. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronaut Steve Bowen, top, in a T-38 training jet as crew members, left to right, Alvin Drew, Pilot Eric Boe Michael Barratt arrive February 20, 2011, to the Kennedy Space Center for the scheduled launch on Thursday at 4:50 p.m. Mission Specialist Steve Bowen replaced Tim Kopra, who was injured in a bicycle accident. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel)

NASA administrator Charlie Bolden greets space shuttle Discovery STS-133 mission specialist Alvin Drew, facing camera, as the crew arrives Sunday, February 20, 2011, to the Kennedy Space Center for the launch scheduled for Thursday at 4:50 p.m.

 (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 is bathed in light Monday, January 31, 2011 making a slow trek to launch pad 39A. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
The shadow of space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 is projected onto the Vehicle Assembly Building Monday, January 31, 2011 as it makes its slow trek to launch pad 39A. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building Monday, January 31, 2011 as it makes its slow trek to launch pad 39A. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 on launch pad 39A Tuesday, February 1, 2011 after making a overnight trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The final flight of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for February 24, 2011. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel) (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 on launch pad 39A Tuesday, February 1, 2011 after making a overnight trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The final flight of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for February 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 on launch pad 39A Tuesday, February 1, 2011 after making a overnight trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The final flight of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for February 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 on launch pad 39A Tuesday, February 1, 2011 after making a overnight trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The final flight of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for February 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 on launch pad 39A Tuesday, February 1, 2011 after making a overnight trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The final flight of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for February 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 on launch pad 39A Tuesday, February 1, 2011 after making a overnight trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The final flight of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for February 24, 2011. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building Monday, January 31, 2011 as it makes its slow trek to launch pad 39A. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building Monday, January 31, 2011 as it makes its slow trek to launch pad 39A. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building Monday, January 31, 2011 as it makes its slow trek to launch pad 39A. NASA employees and their family members, right, gather to watch the rollout of shuttle Discovery. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building Monday, January 31, 2011 as it makes its slow trek to launch pad 39A. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 is bathed in light Monday, January 31, 2011 making a slow trek to launch pad 39A. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, makes a slow trek Wednesday, December 22, 2010 from launch pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA rolled back the orbiter to the 52-story VAB so the entire external fuel tank can be x-rayed and then fixed if need be. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, making a slow trek to the Vehicle Assembly Building after leaving launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA rolled back the orbiter to the 52-story VAB so the entire external fuel tank can be x-rayed and then fixed if need be.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, arrives to the Vehicle Assembly Building after making a overnight trek from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA rolled back the orbiter to the 52-story VAB so the entire external fuel tank can be x-rayed and then fixed if need be.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, arrives Wednesday, December 22, 2010 to the Vehicle Assembly Building after making a overnight trek from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA rolled back the orbiter to the 52-story VAB so the entire external fuel tank can be x-rayed and then fixed if need be.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, arrives Wednesday, December 22, 2010 to the Vehicle Assembly Building after making a overnight trek from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA rolled back the orbitr to the 52-story VAB so the entire external fuel tank can be x-rayed and then fixed if need be.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, arrives Wednesday, December 22, 2010 to the Vehicle Assembly Building after making a overnight trek from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA rolled back the orbiter to the 52-story VAB so the entire external fuel tank can be x-rayed and then fixed if need be.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery sits under the moon as the full lunar eclipse begins during winter solstice on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21, 2010.  (NASA)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery has been scrubbed due to hydrogen leak. NASA will try again to launch Discovery no earlier than November 30, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery has been scrubbed due to hydrogen leak. NASA will try again to launch Discovery no earlier than November 8, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery has been scrubbed due to hydrogen leak. NASA will try to launch Discovery again no earlier than November 8, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle discovery, STS-133 is reflected in a puddle on launch pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery has been been re-scheduled for Friday, November 5, 2010 due to weather violations.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle dDscovery, STS-133 is reflected in a puddle on launch pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery has been been re-scheduled for Friday, November 5, 2010 due to weather violations.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
The rotating service structure is rolled back revealing Discovery poised on launch pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery has been been re-scheduled for November 5, 2010 due to weather violations.  (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
The rotating service structure is rolled back revealing Discovery poised on launch pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery has been been re-scheduled for November 5, 2010 due to weather violations.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
The rotating service structure is rolled back revealing Discovery poised on launch pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of discovery is been re-scheduled for November 5, 2010 due to weather restrictions.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
An approaching storm front moves over space shuttle Discovery [poised on launch pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of Discovery is been re-scheduled for November 5, 2010 due to weather restrictions. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
An approaching storm front movesover space shuttle Discovery [poised on launch pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of discovery is been re-scheduled for November 5, 2010 due to weather violations, (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
A butterfly moves from one wild flower to another as space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, sits on launch pad 39A, in background, at the Kennedy Space Center. The final flight of discovery has been re-scheduled for November 5, 2010 due to weather restrictions.  (RED HUBER/ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 astronauts, from left, Nicole Stott, Michael Barratt, Tim Kopra, Alvin Drew, pilot Eric Boe and Cmdr. Steve Lindsey pose for a picture at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The final flight of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery,STS-133, astronaut Nicole Stott carries her flight gear after the crew of 6 arrived to the Kennedy Space Center for the final flight of shuttle Discovery. Stott calls her hometown Clearwater, Florida and graduated from University of Central Florida and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery,STS-133, astronaut Nicole Stott carries her flight gear after the crew of 6 arrived to the Kennedy Space Center for the final flight of shuttle Discovery. Stott calls her hometown Clearwater, Florida and graduated from University of Central Florida and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery,STS-133, Commander Steve Lindsey , left, and Nicole Stott arrived to the Kennedy Space Center for the final flight of shuttle Discovery. Stott calls her hometown Clearwater, Florida and graduated from University of Central Florida and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronauts LtoR, Pilot Eric Boe, Tim Kopra, Cmdr. Steve Lindsey, Nicole Stott,Alvin Drew and Michael Barratt leave the operations and checkout building headed to board shuttle Discovery at Kennedy Space Center. The crew of 6 are participating in a launch day dress rehearsal. The final launch of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronaut Nicole Stott, smiles toward workers before leaving the operations and checkout building heading to board shuttle Discovery at Kennedy Space Center. The crew of 6 are participating in a launch day dress rehearsal. The final launch of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronauts LtoR, Nicole Stott, Michael Barratt, Tim Kopra, Alvin Drew, Pilot Eric Boe, and Cmdr. Steve Lindsey pose for a moment before boarding the astro van at Kennedy Space Center. The crew of 6 are participating in a launch day dress rehearsal. The final launch of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronauts, left to right, Tim Kopra, Michael Barratt , pilot Eric Boe, Alvin Drew, Nicole Stott and Cmdr. Steve Lindsey walk together near launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The crew of 6 were at KSC for Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, which includes emergency training drills and a launch day dress rehearsal for the crew scheduled for Friday. The final launch of shuttle Discovery, originally scheduled for November 1, 2010 has seen a series of delays and is now slated for no earlier than late February. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronauts LtoR, Cmdr. Steve Lindsey,pilot Eric Boe, Alvin Drew,Tim Kopra, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott, pose for a picture behind launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The crew of 6 are at KSC for Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, which includes emergency training drills and a launch day dress rehearsal for the crew scheduled for Friday. The final launch of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Cmdr. Steve Lindsey, space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 at Kennedy Space Cente  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Pilot Eric Boe, space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, at Kennedy Space Center. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Astronaut Nicole Stott, space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 at Kennedy Space Center(RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Astronaut Alvin Drew, space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 at Kennedy Space Center.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Astronaut Michael Barratt, space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 at Kennedy Space Center.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Astronaut Tim Kopra, Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133 at Kennedy Space Center. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 Cmdr. Steve Lindsey is all smiles as crew members arrive to the Kennedy Space Center to begin the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. The activities. includes emergency training drills and a launch day dress rehearsal for the crew scheduled for Friday. The final launch of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Kennedy Space Center SWAT stands guard Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronauts, background, arrive to the to begin the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. The activities. includes emergency training drills and a launch day dress rehearsal for the crew scheduled for Friday. The final launch of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronauts LtoR, Nicole Stott, Michael Barratt, Tim Kopra, Alvin Drew, pilot Eric Boe and Cmdr. Steve Lindsey pose for a picture after arriving to the Kennedy Space Center to begin the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. The activities. includes emergency training drills and a launch day dress rehearsal for the crew scheduled for Friday. The final launch of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 pilot Eric Boe,left stands next to Cmdr. Steve Lindsey,right, as he gives gives a two thumbs up after arriving to the Kennedy Space Center to begin the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. The activities. includes emergency training drills and a launch day dress rehearsal for the crew scheduled for Friday. The final launch of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery’ STS-133 astronauts LtoR, Cmdr. Steve Lindsey, Tim Kopra, pilot Eric Boe, Nicole Stott, Michael Barratt and Alvin Drew arrive to the Kennedy Space Center to begin the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. The activities. includes emergency training drills and a launch day dress rehearsal for the crew scheduled for Friday. The final launch of shuttle Discovery is scheduled for November 1, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery poised on launch pad 39A after making the slow trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building.This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery poised on launch pad 39A after making the slow trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building.This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery poised on launch pad 39A after making the slow trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building.This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery poised Tuesday, September 21, 2010 on launch pad 39A after making the slow trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery poised Tuesday, September 21, 2010 on launch pad 39A after making the slow trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery poised Tuesday, September 21, 2010 on launch pad 39A after making the slow trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Beth,right, and Jesse Palma, left, who are United Space Alliance workers posed Tuesday, September 21, 2010 in front of space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, in their wedding attire. They were married in April. This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Beth,left, and Jesse Palma, center, who are United space Alliance workers posed Tuesday, September 21, 2010 in front of space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, in their wedding attire. They were married in April 2010. This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery poised Tuesday, September 21, 2010 on launch pad 39A after making the slow trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery ,STS-133, rolls out from the Vehicle Assembly Building headed on a slow trek to launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery ,STS-133, bathed in spotlights ,rolls out from the Vehicle Assembly Building headed to launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery ,STS-133, under a moon rising Monday, September 20, 2010 rolls out from the Vehicle Assembly Building headed to launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery ,STS-133, rolls out Monday, September 20, 2010 from the Vehicle Assembly Building headed on a slow trek to launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. This is the last launch of shuttle Discovery before the shuttle program ends.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 is lifted into a vertical position before mating to the external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 is lifted into a vertical position before mating to the external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 is lifted into a vertical position before mating to the external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 is being prepared to be lifted into a vertical position before mating to the external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 being prepared to be lifted into a vertical position before mating to the external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 on the move Thursday, September 9, 2010 to the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled to launch on Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Kennedy Space Center SWAT team guards Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 Thursday, September 9, 2010 as it sits near the Vehicle Assembly Building. Shuttle Discovery rolled over from the Orbitor Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assmebly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled to launch Nov. 1, 2010.  (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 on the move Thursday, September 9, 2010 to the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled to launch on Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 on the move Thursday, September 9, 2010 to the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled to launch on Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 on the move Thursday, September 9, 2010 to the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled to launch on Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 on the move Thursday, September 9, 2010 to the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled to launch on Nov. 1, 2010. (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery STS-133 on the move Thursday, September 9, 2010 to the Vehicle Assembly Building. This will be the last mission for shuttle Discovery which is scheduled to launch on Nov. 1, 2010. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL)
  • STS-133 -- Discovery mission No. 39 (133rd shuttle program mission overall)
  • Launch date: Feb. 24, 2011
  • Landing date: March 9, 2011 after an 13-day mission.
  • Landing site: Kennedy Space Center
  • Crew: Commander Steven Lindsey (5), Pilot Eric Boe (2), Stephen G. Bowen (3), Michael Barratt (2), Nicole Stott (2), Alvin Drew (2)
  • Of interest: 35th mission to the ISS. The final mission of Discovery, which ended its career with 365 days in space and more than 148 million miles traveled. Originally slated to have been the final flight of the shuttle program, but problems with STS-134’s payload pushed Endeavour to at least a February 2011 launch (later pushed to April 19, 2011), making that orbiter potentially the last of the program, although a planned STS-135 for Atlantis could in fact be the final launch. Discovery delivered the what was formally one of the three Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules -- Leonardo -- but was converted to permanent storage space for the ISS. Also delivered were the third of four Express Logistics Carriers, Robonaut 2 and critical spare components to the ISS. Discovery has been promised to the Smithsonian after its final mission. Lindsey stepped down from his position of Chief Astronaut to command this mission. Both Barratt and Stott were in space as part of Expedition 20 when the crew announcements were made. Stott attended both Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach and UCF in Orlando. Bowen replaced Timothy Kopra as crew after Kopra broke his hip in a bicycling accident.
  • More info from NASA
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    This is the mission poster for space shuttle Discovery’s last planned mission -- STS-133 to the International Space Station. (NASA)
    This is the astronaut photo for space shuttle Discovery’s last planned mission -- STS-133 to the International Space Station. Pictured are from left to right, Alvin Drew, Nicole Stott, Pilot Eric Boe, Commander Steven Lindsey, Michael Barratt and Timothy Kopra. (NASA)
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