Discovery's Final Flight

Final space shuttle flight was supposed to retire the fleet as NASA turned to its next exploration program.The space agency eventually scheduled two additional flights after Space Shuttle Discovery’s last launch,.

Discovery will launch Nov. 1 for its last trip to the International Space Station. The spacecraft will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module, the final U.S. section of the space station that will serve as storage space.
When the astronauts depart, the space station will be at its best possible configuration, Lindsey said.

Discovery also will bring the space station’s first humanoid robot, Robonaut 2, which will get its first tryout in zero gravity.
Robonaut 2, also called R2, is a stationary robot that resembles a human torso, arms and hands.

After initial testing, R2 might be able to help astronauts with menial cleaning tasks, Ambrose wordsv” envisions future versions of R2 helping astronauts perform difficult spacewalks.

Discovery mission specialists Alvin Drew and Tim Kopra will perform two spacewalks to remove a pump module that failed four months ago and install new equipment.

The shuttle program will carry out the three remaining flights with about half of the 14,000 civil and contractor employees who have worked on the program for 30 years.

Space Shuttle Endeavour will fly to the space station Feb. 26, and NASA has authorization to fly Space Shuttle Atlantis in summer 2011.

A shuttle carries seven times the payload amount of any other spacecraft that flies to the space station, which makes the last three flights crucial to transporting equipment and spare parts, John Shannon, manager of the space shuttle program office, said.

“Two year’s from now, it’s going to be challenging, especially if there’s a delay in the commercial vehicle development”

NASA is fixing a last-minute issue on Discovery.A crew will drain the fuel tanks to find and seal the leak,

NASA has installed additional protection tiles to the breaks and fuels loge.The mission will last 11 days with time for an additional day if needed to complete work.

Discovery will launch the day before NASA’s 10-year anniversary of human presence on the space station.
“Things go by pretty quick,” “I’ll have more time to soak in all the details that missed the first time up there.”

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