NASA'S Shuttle Discovery Heads To Space Station On Its Final Mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The final flight of space shuttle Discovery
lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 4:53 p.m. EST Thursday
to deliver a new module and critical supplies to the International Space Station.

The STS-133 mission is delivering the Permanent Multipurpose Module
(PMM), a facility created from the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
named Leonardo. The module can support microgravity experiments in
areas such as fluid physics, materials science, biology and
biotechnology. Inside the PMM is Robonaut 2, a dextrous robot that
will become a permanent resident of the station. Discovery also is
carrying critical spare components to the space station and the
Express Logistics Carrier 4, an external platform that holds large equipment.

"With Discovery's mission, the United States once again reaches for
new heights, pushes the boundaries of human achievement and
contributes to our long-term future in space," NASA Administrator
Charles Bolden said. "Discovery's crew - including the first-ever
dexterous robot crew member, Robonaut 2 - will continue America's
leadership in human and robotic spaceflight, and support important
scientific and technical research aboard the space station."

STS-133 Commander Steve Lindsey will command the flight. He is joined
on the mission by Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew,
Steve Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott. 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.

The shuttle crew is scheduled to dock to the station at 2:16 p.m. on
Saturday, Feb. 26. The mission's two spacewalks will focus on
outfitting the station and storing spare components outside the complex.

After completing the 11-day flight, the shuttle's first landing
opportunity at Kennedy is scheduled for 12:44 p.m. on Monday, March
7. STS-133 is the 133rd shuttle flight, the 39th flight for Discovery
and the 35th shuttle mission dedicated to station assembly and
maintenance. NASA's web coverage of STS-133 includes mission
information, a press kit, interactive features, news conference
images, graphics and videos. Mission coverage, including the latest
NASA Television schedule, is available on the main space shuttle website at:


NASA is providing continuous television and Internet coverage of the
mission. NASA TV features live mission events, daily status news
conferences and 24-hour commentary. For NASA TV streaming video,
downlink and schedule information, visit:


Daily news conferences with STS-133 mission managers will take place
at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. To use this service,
reporters must have valid media credentials issued by a NASA center
or issued specifically for the STS-133 mission.

Journalists planning to use the service must contact the Johnson
newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 15 minutes prior to the start
of a briefing. Newsroom personnel will verify credentials and
transfer reporters to the phone bridge. Phone bridge capacity is
limited, so it will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Live updates to the NASA News Twitter feed will be added throughout
the mission and landing. To access the feed, go to the NASA.gov
homepage or visit:


Stott is providing updates to her Twitter account during the mission.
She can be followed at:


For more information about the space station, visit:


Source: NASA

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