Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Space Shuttle Discovery's Final Landing 5 Years Ago Today

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - On March 9, 2011, the Space Shuttle Discovery sounded its last double sonic booms during the spacecraft's final approach over Florida's Space Coast.

Discovery touched down on Runway 15 at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 11:57 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, completing the 13-day STS-133 mission to the International Space Station. The final wheel stop for each of the Space Shuttles' final missions were marked and memorialized on on the landing strip by a local artist from Brevard County, Florida.

On board were Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe, and Mission Specialists Nicole Stott, Michael Barratt, Alvin Drew and Steve Bowen. Discovery and its six-member crew delivered the Permanent Multipurpose Module, packed with supplies and critical spare parts, as well as Robonaut 2, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, to the orbiting outpost. 

STS-133 was Discovery's 39th and final mission. It was the 133rd Space Shuttle Program mission and the 35th shuttle voyage to the International Space Station. 

One year later, Discovery made its final piggyback ride over the Space Coast of Florida on April 17, 2012.