Source: NASA Release 11-054
Image credit: NASA/Kenny Allen and Mike Gayle
The final flight of space shuttle Discovery lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 20h53 (UTC) of 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.
The shuttle crew is scheduled to dock to the station at 18h16 (UTC) today. 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. (read source)