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Photos: Shuttle Discovery Sets Sail on Final Voyage

Curling Billows Say Goodbye

NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O'Connell

In curling billows of smoke and steam, space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning its final flight, the STS-133 mission, to the International Space Station.

Soaring Away

NASA

Space shuttle Discovery soars toward space after liftoff from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning its final flight, the STS-133 mission, to the International Space Station.

Lift Off from Far Away

NASA/Carl Winebarger

As seen from the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, beginning its final flight, the STS-133 mission, to the International Space Station.

Discovery Sets Sail for Space

NASA

Space shuttle Discovery heads to space after lifting off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin its final flight to the International Space Station on the STS-133 mission. See more photos from Discovery's final mission to space.

Student Balloon Robonaut 1 Sees Shuttle Discovery Launch

Quest for Stars/Challenger Center

This frame grab from a video -- shot by a GoPro Hero Motorsport camera aboard the Robonaut-1 balloon -- shows the shuttle Discovery streaking toward space on its final mission. The shot was taken at 5:05 EST on Feb. 24, 2011 as the balloon was traveling through the troposphere -- hence the fog.

The Press Covering the Launch

NASA/Troy Cryder

Space shuttle Discovery's liftoff from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a picturesque, warm, late February afternoon is witnessed by news media representatives near the countdown clock at the Press Site.

Blast Off

NASA

Space shuttle Discovery heads to space after lifting off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin its final flight to the International Space Station on the STS-133 mission.

Column of Fire

Roger Guillemette for SPACE.com

Space shuttle Discovery soars into orbit on its final mission from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Feb. 24, 2011.

Shuttle Launches: A Spectator Sport

NASA/Ben Cooper

From the Banana River Creek VIP viewing area at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, spectators watch space shuttle Discovery's lift off from Launch Pad 39A on its final mission to the International Space Station. Discovery lifted off at 4:53 p.m. EST on Feb. 24

Shuttle Discovery Soars with Old Glory

collectSPACE/Robert Z. Pearlman

Space shuttle Discovery flies past its flag at Kennedy Space Center's Press Site in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on its final liftoff to space on Feb. 24, 2011 during NASA's STS-133 mission to the International Space Station.

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