Thursday, March 10, 2011

Discovery's last flight over Florida's Space Coast

Shuttle Discovery Taking Off
A sort of bitter-sweet moment, after months of delay, it's Discovery's last mission, her final trip to the International Space Center, for now, her 13-day mission has eclipsed the reality that she will not fly again.

Since Discovery first rolled onto the launch pad in 1984, she has logged over 148 million miles during her 27 year career. Now that the fuel tank issues are behind her, she's ready to carry a payload consisting of supplies, hardware, a new storage module, and a humanoid robot assistant to the space station.

As the shuttle that helped the United States explore the heavens awaits her last flight home, astronauts were given an early wake-up call at 6:53 a.m. in the morning.

Just 1 hour and 19 minutes later, astronauts initiated the last 3 minute de-orbit burn that would cause the orbiter to be an hour-long descent.

Discovery, amongst the other orbiters, will leave behind quite an amazing legacy in space flight, she has taken good care of her crews all these years.

Meanwhile, thousands of people awaited the sonic double booms, a signature of Discoveries last flight over the sun shine state.

Her shoots deploy, just moments before landing, an audible sound is heard, "and Houston, Discovery, for the final wheelstop", suddenly, the reality sets in to Kennedy's exploration team, this was the last hooray, a yeoman's job to say the least, a picture perfect flight to wrap up an amazing legacy.

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