Today, at 11:57:17am EST, one minute ahead of schedule, Space Shuttle Discovery’s main landing gear touched down on Runway 15, at the Shuttle Landing Facility, at the Kennedy Space Center, ending the Shuttle’s 27-year flying career with NASA.
Space Shuttle Discovery’s contract was awarded to Rockwell International on the 29th of January 1979, nearly four years later she was delivered to the Kennedy Space Center on the 9th of November 1983 … and flew her first flight, STS-41D, on the 30th of August 1984.
At the time Discovery’s wheels touched down this morning, the Space Shuttle has cumulatively spent a year in space, 365 days beyond the bonds of Earth.
During Discovery’s last mission, STS-133, she spend 12 days, 19 hours, 3 minutes, 53 seconds from launch to landing and flew more than 5,000,000 miles.
Below are a few images of Space Shuttle Discovery’s final moments of flight, from NASA TV (which are public domain). The first image is a view through the Shuttle Commander’s heads-up-display (HUD), you can see Runway 15 a the top of the frame; the second image is Discovery moments from wheels down; the third image is the main gear touching down for the last time.
So long Discovery … It’s been fun watching you fly!