The end of the space shuttle’s service life lies nigh before us. There’s no surprise then that reviews are coming out as with Robert Adamcik’s “Voyages of Discovery: The Missions of United States Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) 1984-2011“. This book’s faithful compilation of the shuttle, mission by mission, reminds us that we are a successful space faring species with high potential.
Billed as the first production orbiter, Discovery was optimized to haul cargo from the Earth’s surface up to low Earth orbit. Its somewhat extended 5 year build time from about 1979 to 1984 was followed up with 27 years of service. During its operational time, the shuttle will have flown to orbit a total of 39 times. The future tense is appropriate as the shuttle awaits it final flight in early 2011.
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