For Discovery, a farewell spin
Space shuttle Discovery’s next mission will be to awe and inspire those who visit it at the Smithsonian Institution. NASA’s workhorse shuttle was retired after completing its trip last week to the International Space Station — that?s 39 missions covering 5,750 orbits, 150 million miles, and almost a year in space since it first lifted off in 1984. It’s name was inspired by the exploring ships of the past, including one that plied the Hudson Bay in the early 1600s seeking a northwest passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. Discovery carried some of NASA’s most-distinguished astronauts, including Eileen Collins, the first female commander, Sergei Krikalev, the first Russian to fly on a shuttle, and Senator John Glenn, who returned to space at 76. In its last mission, Discovery dropped Robonaut 2, the first dexterous humanoid robot in space, at the space station.
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