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March 1, 2011
Space Shuttle Discovery's Final Voyage
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The International Space Station got a sorely needed storage room Tuesday, a 21-foot-long supply closet packed with goods and a humanoid robot that will remain boxed up for another two months. It became the 13th room at the sprawling outpost, and the only one devoted entirely to storage. Built in Italy, the new compartment is named Leonardo, after Leonardo da Vinci. The compartment was delivered to the station by space shuttle Discovery. This is Discovery's final voyage, and only two other shuttle trips remain. The fleet will be retired by summer's end.
Once back home, Discovery will be retired and sent to the Smithsonian Institution. It's NASA's longest flying shuttle, circling the planet for nearly a year during the course of 39 missions over 26 years. (25 images)

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Space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Docking occurred at 2:14 p.m. (EST) Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station. NASA


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Emerging from the Quest airlock on the International Space Station, astronaut Alvin Drew began his shared spacewalking duties with fellow astronaut Steve Bowen. Drew and Bowen completed the STS-133 mission's first spacewalk on Monday, Feb. 28. Drew is the 200th human to perform a spacewalk, his first. This is Steve Bowen's sixth spacewalk. This is the 154th spacewalk supporting assembly and maintenance of the space station and the 234th excursion conducted by U.S. astronauts. NASA



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The docked space shuttle Discovery and the Canadian-built Dextre, also known as the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator, are featured in this photograph taken by the STS-133 crew aboard the station. The blackness of space and Earth's horizon provide the backdrop for the scene. NASA



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The Japanese Kibo complex of the International Space Station is seen while space shuttle Discovery remains docked with the station February 26, 2011 in Space. NASA



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A view of the aft section of space shuttle Discovery, currently docked with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. NASA



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Space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. NASA



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Space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Docking occurred at 2:14 p.m. (EST) Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station. NASA



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Discovery, on its 39th and final flight on February 26, 2011, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station. NASA



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Space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. Docking occurred at 2:14 p.m. (EST). NASA



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The underside view of the nose of the space shuttle Discovery was provided during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space StationFebruary 26, 2011 in Space. As part of the survey and part of every mission's activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). NASA



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A partial view of the port wing of the space shuttle Discovery is seen during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. As part of the survey and part of every mission's activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). NASA



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A partial view of the starboard wing of the space shuttle Discovery is photographed during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. As part of the survey and part of every mission's activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). NASA



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The Expedition 26 crew photographed the aft portion of Discovery's main engines, part of the cargo bay, vertical stabilizer and orbital maneuvering system pods during a survey of the vehicle's approach prior to its docking with the International Space Station. As part of the survey and part of every mission's activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver. The image was photographed with a digital still camera, using a 400mm lens at a distance of about 600 feet (180 meters). NASA



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A view of the crew cabin and forward payload bay of the space shuttle Discovery during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. NASA



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A view of the crew cabin and forward payload bay of the space shuttle Discovery during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station February 26, 2011 in Space. NASA



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Discovery's Final Flip This view of the nose, the forward underside and crew cabin of the space shuttle Discovery was provided by an Expedition 26 crew member during a survey of the approaching STS-133 vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station. The image was photographed with a digital still camera, using a 400mm lens at a distance of about 600 feet. NASA



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Controlled by the STS-133 astronauts inside space shuttle Discovery's cabin, the Remote Manipulator System/ Orbiter Boom Sensor System (RMS/ OBSS) equipped with special cameras, begins to conduct thorough inspections of the shuttle's thermal tile system on flight day 2 February 25, 2011 in Space. NASA



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Space shuttle Discovery approaches the International Space Station during STS-133 rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. NASA



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The International Space Station is seen from space shuttle Discovery as the shuttle approaches the station during rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. NASA



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The International Space Station is seen from space shuttle Discovery as the shuttle approaches the station during rendezvous and docking operations February 26, 2011 in Space. NASA



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Two solid rocket boosters (top) separate from the space shuttle Discovery (bottom dot) as it heads to orbit after lift off February 24, 2011 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission to the International Space Station. This will be the 39th and final flight for Discovery. AFP/ Getty Images / Stan Honda



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Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. Discovery on its last mission to the International Space Station. AP / John Raoux



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Space shuttle Discovery blasts off on Thursday, February 24, 2011, from the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida, on its final flight. Orlando Sentinel / Red Huber



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Space shuttle Discovery lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. AP / Chris O'Meara



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The space shuttle Discovery is seen shortly after the Rotating Service Structure was rolled back at launch pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011. NASA/ Bill Ingalls



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