Chris Walton

Discovery Lands for the last time

The Space Shuttle Discovery touched down from its last trip into space today, after 5 cancelled launches since November the orbiter spent the last 14 days in space, 10 spent docked to the International Space Station.

First launched in 1984 Discovery flew 39 missions in 27 years making her NASA’s lead orbiter spending a full year in space over its lifetime. The shuttle launched a number of probes and satellites including the Hubble Telescope, had the dubious honor of being the first shuttle launched after both the Challenger and Columbia disasters and returned Mercury Project Astronaut John Glenn back into space in 1998, the 77 year old becoming the oldest man to fly in space.

Discovery was named after a number of British exploration ships including Captain James Cook’s and is to replace the Enterprise on display at the Smithsonian.

Endeavour and Atlantis will fly their own last missions later in the year, bringing almost 30 years of the shuttle program to an end.

Endeavour Endeavour and Atlantis are slated for the final two missions of the shuttle program ending almost 30 years of history.