Discovery in Orbit on Final Mission

Kennedy Space Center, FL…The Space Shuttle Discovery launched today on it’s final voyage. Space shuttle Discovery has reached orbit and is on its way to the International Space Station. “Good to be here,” Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey radioed soon after the three main engines shut off and the external fuel tank was jettisoned.

Image above: The crew of STS-133 just before they climb inside the Astrovan to go to the launch pad. The astronauts making today’s flight are, from left, Mission Specialists Nicole Stott, Michael Barratt, Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Pilot Eric Boe and Commander Steve Lindsey. Image credit: NASA TV

During space shuttle Discovery’s final spaceflight, the STS-133 crew members will take important spare parts to the International Space Station along with the Express Logistics Carrier-4.

Steve Bowen replaced Tim Kopra as Mission Specialist 2 following a bicycle injury on Jan. 15 that prohibited Kopra from supporting the launch window. Bowen last flew on Atlantis in May 2010 as part of the STS-132 crew. Flying on the STS-133 mission will make Bowen the first astronaut ever to fly on consecutive missions.