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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

End of an Era

All photos are courtesy of Steven Hunt.
2011 marks the end of an era for space exploration. Like its predecessors Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, the space shuttle program will be retired after 30 years of service.
Discovery is the oldest of the remaining shuttles.  It made its maiden voyage in 1984 when it successfully launched three communication satellites.  In 1990, Discovery carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit and in 1991 the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite.

In 1998, Discovery was the shuttle used to transport Project Mercury astronaut and fellow Ohioan John Glenn back into space at the age of 77, making him the oldest man to venture into space.   

Discovery Stats
  • 39 Missions
  • 5,247 Orbits
  • 322 Days in orbit 

Discovery's Final Crew
  • Steve Lindsey, Commander
  • Erice Boe, Pilot
  • Alvin Drew, Mission Specialist
  • Nicole Stott, Mission Specialist
  • Michael Barratt, Mission Specialist
  • Steve Bowen, Mission Specialist

Discovery made its final launch on February 24 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  The mission's six-man crew is delivering a multipurpose module to the International Space Station. It is slated to return to Earth on March 9.

I will be linking this post to Outdoor Wednesdays.  


  1. I must forward your post to Phil at work as he works for SSTL he was telling me yesterday morning that it was Science week at the Surrey University where he works.Also Phil is a Radio Ham and I believe there are two hams on board the Space Station.

    Jackie in Surrey, UK.

  2. What a great post to honor the people who go into space. Very nice.

  3. I enjoyed this post, I've been blessed several times to visit Kennedy Space Center, and have saw a couple of launches, wonderful and exciting!


  4. Hi,
    Thanks so much for visiting my garden!
    I'm your new follower.
    We also enjoyed our recent visit to the space center.

  5. That's a great post and a fine tribute to the space program.

  6. I was fortunate to see the very first shuttle arrive home...sailing over the mountains on its way to Edwards AFB.....I was also fortunate to be in Florida for a launch!
    I am always what our Space Program has been able to do! Great tribute.

  7. this was an intersting post La...
    i've been to Kennedy Space Center
    didn't see the launch
    but saw the huge rig that takes
    the shuttle to the launch pad

  8. Thanks for recalling a great piece of history. Certainly made for an excellent REDneday.

  9. This was a great tribute to the people who work so hard with the space program.

  10. The end of an era...sigh...great post!


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See you soon! La