Space Shuttle Discovery facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Discovery
OV-103
STS-133 Space Shuttle Discovery after undocking 3 (cropped).jpg
Discovery in orbit in 2011, during STS-133
OV designation OV-103
Country United States
Contract award January 29, 1979
Named after Discovery (1602),
HMS Discovery (1774),
HMS Discovery (1874),
RRS Discovery (1901)
Status Retired, on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia
First flight STS-41-D
August 30, 1984 (1984-08-30) – September 5, 1984
Last flight STS-133
February 24, 2011 (2011-02-24) – March 9, 2011
No. of missions 39
Crew members 252
Time spent in space 1 year (365 days), 22 hours, 39 minutes, 33 seconds
Distance travelled 148,221,675 mi (238,539,663 km)
Satellites deployed 31 (including Hubble Space Telescope)
Mir dockings 1
ISS dockings 13
Space Shuttle Discovery at Udvar-Hazy Center
Space Shuttle Discovery at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Discovery rollout ceremony
Discovery rollout ceremony in October 1983

Space Shuttle Discovery (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-103) is one of the orbiters from NASA's Space Shuttle program and 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. Like other shuttles, the shuttle has three main components: the Space Shuttle orbiter, a central fuel tank, and two rocket boosters. Nearly 25,000 heat resistant tiles cover the orbiter to protect it from high temperatures on re-entry.

Discovery became the third operational orbiter to enter service, preceded by Columbia and Challenger. It embarked on its last mission, STS-133, on February 24, 2011 and touched down for the final time at Kennedy Space Center on March 9, having spent a cumulative total of almost a full year in space. Discovery performed both research and International Space Station (ISS) assembly missions, and also carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit.

Discovery was the first operational shuttle to be retired, followed by Endeavour and then Atlantis. The shuttle is now on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.

Gallery

Tribute and mission insignas

NASA Orbiter Tribute for Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery Tribute.jpg
Mission insignia for Discovery flights
Sts-41-d-patch.png
Sts-51-a-patch.png
Sts-51-c-patch.png
Sts-51-d-patch.png
Sts-51-g-patch.png
Sts-51-i-patch.png
Sts-26-patch.png
Sts-29-patch.png
STS-41-D
STS-51-A
STS-51-C
STS-51-D
STS-51-G
STS-51-I
STS 26
STS 29
Sts-33-patch.png
Sts-31-patch.png
Sts-41-patch.png
Sts-39-patch.png
Sts-48-patch.png
Sts-42-patch.png
Sts-53-patch.png
Sts-56-patch.png
STS 33
STS 31
STS 41
STS 39
STS 48
STS 42
STS 53
STS 56
Sts-51-patch.png
Sts-60-patch.png
Sts-64-patch.png
Sts-63-patch.png
Sts-70-patch.png
Sts-82-patch.png
Sts-85-patch.png
Sts-91-patch.svg
STS 51
STS 60
STS 64
STS 63
STS 70
STS 82
STS 85
STS 91
STS-95 Patch.svg
Sts-96-patch.svg
Sts-103-patch.png
Sts-92-patch.png
Sts-102-patch.png
Sts-105-patch.png
STS-114 patch.svg
STS-121 patch.png
STS 95
STS 96
STS 103
STS 92
STS 102
STS 105
STS 114
STS 121
Sts-116-patch.png
Sts-120-patch.png
STS-124 patch.svg
STS-119 Patch.svg
STS-128 Patch.svg
STS-131 patch.png
STS-133 patch.png
STS 116
STS 120
STS 124
STS 119
STS 128
STS 131
STS 133

Images for kids


Space Shuttle Discovery Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.