Discovery’s last crew arrive at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
Arriving in their trademark T-38 Talon jets, the crew that will fly the final mission of the space shuttle Discovery inwards at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The astronauts landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at 3:45 p.m. EDT and took a little moments to speak to members of the media and pose for pictures before heading off to train for their 11-day mission. Discovery is now slated to begin its mission to the International Space Station (ISS) with liftoff taking place at 4:50 p.m. EDT Thursday, Feb. 24. The STS-133 mission is Discovery’s last planned flight.

However, STS-132, which took place this past May, was shuttle Atlantis’ final planned flight now that orbiter is scheduled to close out the shuttle program when it whole mission STS-135, which is scheduled to take place late this summer. The crew will convey the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) to the space station. The PMM was customized from the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Leonardo which was fundamentally a cargo container. Now, Leonardo will be a permanent fixture on the orbiting outpost given that additional storage for the station’s crew. On the way to orbit, the PMM will carry, among further things, the first human-like robot ever flown in space, Robonaut 2 (R2).

R2 will stay onboard the place and will be used to test the viability of related robots in assisting astronauts on future long-duration missions. One of the things that the station can forever use is more spare parts. STS-133 will deliver various division and the Express Logistics Carrier 4, a platform that holds great equipment. The crew consists of Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission expert Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott. Bowen is a final minute addition to the crew.

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