The 30th Day of August

The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage 1984

Space Shuttle Discovery is one of the orbiters from NASA’s Space Shuttle program and was the third of five fully operational orbiters to be built. Its first mission, STS-41-D, flew from August 30 to September 5, 1984.

Over 27 years of service it launched and landed 39 times, gathering more spaceflights than any other spacecraft to date. Discovery performed both research and International Space Station (ISS) assembly missions, and also carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit.

The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage 1984

Like other shuttles, the shuttle has three main components: the Space Shuttle orbiter, a central fuel tank, and two rocket boosters. The name Discovery was chosen to carry on a tradition based on ships of exploration, primarily HMS Discovery.

It embarked on its last mission, STS-133, on February 24, 2011 and touched down for the final time at Kennedy Space Centre on March 9.

Extra Note: The shuttle is now on display at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Centre of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

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Check out some more history

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