In a too infrequent celebration of one of humanity's greatest achievements and displays of cooperation toward a mutual goal, STS-133 (Space Transportation System), 133rd space shuttle flight, successfully launched six crew members and payload into space.
The six NASA astronauts are Steve Lindsey, Eric Boe, Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott.
Discovery's final mission is to carry six crew members and deliver its payload to and from the ISS (International Space Station).
R2 is still a prototype, which will remain on the ISS to be tested and upgraded. The goal is that it will assist with simple repetitive tasks and eventually perform tasks that are too difficult or dangerous for humans.
|R2 preparing for its first space mission|
In the future, the plan is that R2 will have greater dexterity at manipulating EVA tools than a suited astronaut and that it will be used to aid its human colleagues during spacewalks.
For a good overview of Discovery's past and present missions:
For more information on NASA's 2011 launch schedule link here.
Welcome back to space, Discovery. Have a successful mission and a safe flight home.