Spaceflight Insider

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Discovery’s last

Photo Credit: Andy Sokol / Turbofox Photography

Three years ago this day, space shuttle Discovery roared aloft a pillar of fame – and into the history books. On Feb. 24, 2011, the orbiter was launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission to the International Space Station with a crew of six. When the shuttle landed at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility nearly 13 days later – there were only two more flights of the iconic spacecraft left.

The crew of this mission consisted of Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and mission specialists: Alvin Drew, Nicole Stott, Michael Barratt and Stephen Bowen.

On board was the Permanent Multipurpose Module, Express Logistics Carrier Four, Robonaut 2 and SpaceX’s DragonEye sensor.

Once the mission was complete, Discovery was prepared for retirement and eventually flew to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where she resides today.


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Andy Sokol earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master’s degree in Space Systems from Florida Institute of Technology. He dedicated the first nine years of his career working hands-on with NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet as an orbiter structures/airframe engineer. Photography was one of his hobbies during his education & career, and his unique visual perspectives of the space shuttle quickly became highly respected. As his portfolio grew & diversified, Andy formed TurboFox Photography in 2009 to provide fine art & portrait services. He participates in juried art shows across Florida, through which he has received multiple awards.

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