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Photos: Shuttle Discovery Sets Sail on Final Voyage

In Launch Control, Watching Discovery's Last Flight

NASA/Kim Shiflett

In Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Discovery Flow Director Stephanie Stilson, left, STS-133 Assistant Shuttle Launch Director and lead NASA Test Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson and Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach watch space shuttle Discovery blaze a trail of smoke and steam as it heads toward orbit on the STS-133 mission to the International Space Station.

Shuttle Discovery's Long Shadows

NASA/Jeff Marino

The exhaust plume of space shuttle Discovery casts a long shadow after the shuttle's final launch on Feb. 24, 2011 to kick of NASA's STS-133 mission to the International Space Station.

Discovery Takes Flight One Last Time

Roger Guillemette for SPACe.

A close-up view of shuttle Discovery's final launch on Feb. 24, 2011 to begin NASA's 133rd shuttle mission.

Traffic After the Launch


This image of U. S. Highway 1 and surrounding roadways in Titusville, Florida, was taken from a traffic survey helicopter after the successful launch of space shuttle Discovery at 4:53 p.m. EST.

Permission to Come Aboard

NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O'Connell

In the White Room at Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United Space Alliance spacesuit technicians help STS-133 Mission Specialist Nicole Stott put on the parachute for her launch-and-entry suit before she enters space shuttle Discovery through the crew hatch in the background.

Discovery's Final Crew Heads to Launch Pad

collectSPACE/Robert Z. Pearlman

The space shuttle Discovery's final crew, the six astronauts of NASA's STS-133 mission, head to Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for launch on Feb. 24, 2011.

Shuttle Discovery on Launch Pad

NASA/Frank Michaux

Space shuttle Discovery stands tall at Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

STS-133 Mission Patch (Revised)


The STS-133 mission patch is based upon sketches from the late artist Robert McCall; they were the final creations of his long and prodigious career. In the foreground, a solitary orbiter ascends space. Stars surround the orbiter. The mission number, STS-133, is emblazoned on the patch center, with crewmembers' names bordering around the scene. This new patch replaces injured mission specialist Tim Kopra with NASA astronaut Steve Bowen.

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