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Photos: Shuttle Discovery Sets Sail on Final Voyage

Discovery's Vapor Trail

NASA/Troy Cryder

Space shuttle Discovery's vapor trail seen from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center is witnessed by news media representatives on Feb. 24, 2011.

Discovery Launch Crowds

NASA/Jack Pfaller

Swarms of people are at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida to watch space shuttle Discovery lift off on its final scheduled mission from Launch Pad 39A. Liftoff is set for 4:50 p.m. EST on Feb. 24.

Discovery Launches

NASA TV

Space shuttle Discovery lifts off, Feb. 24, 2011. See images of the historic final launch of Discovery.

The VIP View of Discovery's Last Launch

NASA/Jim Grossmann

From the terrace of the VIP viewing area at the Operations Support Building II at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Discovery is seen lifting 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.

Proud of the Team

NASA

Space Shuttle Program Launch Integration Manager Mike Moses looks on proudly as Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach holds up a Discovery banner signed by the STS-133 astronauts, at a news conference held in the Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following today's successful launch of space shuttle Discovery.

Discovery Soars

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.

Discovery Arcs Off the Planet

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.

River Rocket Launch Watchers

NASA/Jack Pfaller

Crowds fill the areas along the NASA Causeway at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to watch space shuttle Discovery lift off on its final scheduled mission from Launch Pad 39A.

The Long Launch View

NASA/Jeff Marino

Space shuttle Discovery lifts off Launch Pad 39A atop twin columns of fire, creating rolling clouds of smoke and steam in its track. Launch of the STS-133 mission was at 4:53 p.m. EST on Feb. 24, 2011 as seen from the roof of NASA's 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building.

Off Like a Rocket

NASA/Jeff Marino

Taken from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Discovery lifts off Launch Pad 39A atop twin columns of fire, creating rolling clouds of smoke and steam in its track. Launch of the STS-133 mission was at 4:53 p.m. EST on Feb. 24.

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