History Magazine

The End Of An Era: Shuttle Discovery Flies For The Last Time

By Kungfujedi @Kungfujedi
It was a historic day, and the end of an era, earlier when the Space Shuttle Discovery touched down for the final time. This is the last of the scheduled space shuttle missions, and effectively brings an end to America's space program, at least for the foreseeable future.
Discovery landed back at Kennedy Space Center after making one last journey to the International Space Station to deliver supplies and provide maintenance to the ISS. Upon landing, the odometer on the shuttle reads 148 million miles and 365 days in orbit. Over 27 years of service, the Discovery was a workhorse indeed. The next stop for the Discovery is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
As I've mentioned earlier, I'm a bit sad that the shuttle program has come to an end. While the craft have gotten outdated over the years, they're still the best spacecraft that man has ever built. We're also years away from a true replacement and I hate the thought of a generation of astronauts grounded and waiting for their next flight. Lets hope that next flight comes sooner than later, but we've got years of design and testing to go through before we see anything close to the space shuttle again.
Here's to one last salute for the Discovery, the entire space shuttle program, and the astronauts that traveled in her. Lets not forget the men and women on the ground who made it all possible.

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