Spaceflight Insider

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Discovery’s triumphant, final return

Space shuttle Discovery lands at NASA's Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-133 mission marked the 39th, and final, mission for the historic spacecraft which landed three years ago today. Photo Credit: Andy Sokol / Turbofox Photography

KENNEDY Space Center, Fla — Three years ago today, NASA’s space shuttle Discovery completed its final mission, STS-133 at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. It marked the 39th, and final, time that the history-making spacecraft would take to the black. The crew of six consisted of space flight veterans: Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Nicole Stott, Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt and Stephen Bowen.

After Discovery safely delivered the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 4, Robonaut 2, SpaceX DragonEye sensor and other experiments and payload to the space station. The mission saw its start from Launch Complex 39A on February 24, 2011. After Discovery landed there would be two more missions before the shuttle era drew to a close.


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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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