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Discovery to depart ISS

7 years ago271 views



The space shuttle Discovery is due to depart from the International Space Station (ISS) later as part of its final mission into orbit.

The hatches between the spaceship and the ISS were sealed on Sunday afternoon.

"We're going to miss you," the space station's commander, Scott Kelly, told the six shuttle astronauts. "But most of all we're going to miss Discovery."

Mission Control gave Discovery's astronauts two extra days at the orbiting outpost.

They took advantage of the bonus time to empty the storage unit of all the gear that went up inside it.

Immediately after undocking, Discovery will fly a victory lap of sorts around the orbiting lab, essentially for picture-taking.

On its final voyage after nearly three decades, Discovery, the most travelled rocketship ever, will be retired following the return to Earth. Landing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Only two other shuttle missions remain. Endeavour is due to blast off April 19 and Atlantis will close out the 30-year shuttle program with a launch at the end of June.

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