The STS133 mission started last night with the final launch of the three-decade-old space shuttle Discovery. 6 astronauts were rocketed into space to drop off supplies for the International Space Station. This mission marks the final journey of this space shuttle before it retires to the Smithsonian Museum.
During its 39 missions Discovery has taken the Hubble Space Telescope into space it launched the first Russian into space in an American spacecraft, carried the first incumbent United States member of Congress, the oldest man in space, and marked NASAs 100th Space Shuttle mission, amongst many other construction and flight milestones.
Discovery’s first launch was 30 August 1984 and she has since flown more times and any other reusable spacecraft.
Last night’s launch went off without a glitch, despite several problems and delays prior to liftoff.
For footage of the launch and some more information, watch this video.
The space shuttle Discovery completed it’s mission successfully. For 45 stunning high-def photos of Discovery’s various launches and its future at the Smithsonian Museum look at its Big Picture photoset. After 39 missions covering 5,750 orbits, 150 million miles, and almost a year in space since it first lifted off in 1984, the Discovery will finally be retired.