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Monday, March 14, 2011

US Discovery shuttle safely makes final landing in Florida

Moskow (ANTARA News/RIA Novosti-OANA) - Space shuttle Discovery has landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida completing its 39th and final flight, NASA said on Wednesday.

"Discovery has completed its final mission, STS-133, for NASA`s Space Shuttle Program landing on-time at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 11:57 a.m. EST [16:57 GMT], March 9, 2011 after 202 orbits around Earth and a journey of 5,304,140 miles," the agency said on its Website.

The shuttle returned the crew of six STS-133 mission astronauts and Commander Steve Lindsey was the last to leave the spacecraft after its final landing, the space agency added.

Discovery undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday. Its final mission before being retired lasted 12 days and the shuttle delivered a human-like robot, Robonaut 2, to the ISS.

Discovery has made a total of 39 missions to the ISS. It will be placed on display in a U.S. museum.

The U.S. space agency says its shuttles are outdated and too expensive to maintain.

The two last remaining U.S. shuttles, Endeavor and Atlantis, will make their final flights this year on April 19 and June 28, respectively.

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