There’s something about space news that leaves you in awe every time. Today’s news is no exception as the final Discovery shuttle launch aired in real time on Nasa TV. This afternoon’s launch of the historic shuttle marks its 39th and final launch and 133rd shuttle mission overall.
Get more on the shuttle launch and a video of the event after the jump…
Discovery, the world’s most traveled shuttle, is on its way to the International Space Station and will return March 7th. There are six experienced astronauts on board who have been delayed for four months due to fuel tank repairs.
Of NASA’s three space shuttles, Discovery is the veteran and is the first to be decommissioned. Two upcoming missions remain for Atlantis and Endeavour which will end the 30-year program.
Launch director Mike Leinbach explained the emotions behind the final Discovery launch:
It’s a very, very personal thing that we love to do. It’s a lot more than just our livelihood. It gets in our soul.
Over 40,000 spectators flocked to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida to witness the historical shuttle launch, including Governor Rick Scott. Roads leading to the space center were packed and local stores sold out of camera batteries. Signs of encouragement were found along the way.
After the Challanger tragedy, videos like this make me nervous, but here’s the Discovery launch in case you missed it:
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