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Tearful NASA salutes space shuttle Discovery

Journey's end for venerable spacecraft

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The final voyage

Discovery's last crew posed for photographers on Kennedy tarmac yesterday (from left to right, mission specialists Nicole Stott and Michael Barratt, pilot Eric Boe, commander Steve Lindsey and mission specialists Alvin Drew and Steve Bowen) before the spacecraft was towed away to be prepared for its final voyage to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The Discovery crew poses at Kennedy yesterday. Pic: NASA

Shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach concluded: "We wanted to go out on a high note and Discovery's done that. We couldn't ask for more. It was virtually a perfect mission conducted by a perfect flight crew and a perfect ground crew. I couldn't be happier."

Bootnote

In traditional NASA style, the agency summarises that Discovery "spent 365 days in space, orbited Earth 5,830 times and traveled 148,221,675 miles".

There's more on Discovery's "Long Voyage" here, and a photographic tribute to the shuttle here.

Discovery at Kennedy Space Center. Pic: NASA

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