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Space Shuttle Discovery’s last launch February 26, 2011

Posted by Marie in ISS, NASA, Space shuttle.
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Discovery launches.

Image credit: NASA/Jeff Marino Feb. 24, 2011

On Thursday evening (UK time), the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the last time before being retired from NASA’s fleet.

It was a bit of a nail-biter, because the Range Safety Officer polled a ‘no-go’ during countdown due to a computer fault.  The issue was rectified with just two seconds to spare! – had this not happened, the launch would have been postponed – again.

But Discovery did, indeed, take off, and it’s worth viewing the video footage as it’s quite spectacular.

The shuttle is taking six crew members, a robonaut (R2),  some spare parts, and a ‘module’  to the International Space Station, which will be like a new room or an extension to the ISS.  (Wonder who chooses the wallpaper?)

Crew member Nicole Stott (@Astro_Nicole) and Robonaut (@AstroRobonaut) will be tweeting from the ISS with their updates.

A few lucky air travellers actually had an unexpected but fantastic view of the launch from the window of their flight from Florida, and shared it on YouTube.  Be amazed!

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