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STS-133 was the final flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission transported the Permanent Multipurpose Module Leonardo, the third of four ExPRESS Logistics Carriers and carried Robonaut 2 to the International Space Station. The mission (ISS assembly flight ULF5) was the 39th and the 133rd flight of the Space Shuttle program. It was launched on 24 February 2011.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Picture

History

NASA announced the STS-133 crew on September 18, 2009 and training began in October 2009. STS-133 was originally scheduled for launch on September 16, 2010. In June 2010 the launch date was moved to the end of October 2010.

On November 5 2010, Discovery's liftoff to the International Space Station was postponed because of a leak in the ground umbilical carrier plate (GUCP) at Launch Pad 39A, which prompted a scrub of the  launch attempt. Discovery's six STS-133 astronauts left NASA's Kennedy Space Center in their T-38 jets shortly after 3 p.m. EDT, November 5, to return home to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Mission managers examined a crack in the external tank foam that developed as supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen were being drained from the tank. Inspection of the tank revealed cracks in foam insulation in the flange between the intertank and liquid Oxygen tank. The cracks are believed to have occurred about an hour after super cold propellants began flowing into Discovery's external tank for the 05 November launch attempt. The cracks in Discovery's tank are the first to be found at the launch pad.

On December 17, 2010 NASA shuttle managers stated that more tests and analysis are needed to determine the problems on the space shuttle.

Steve Bowen replaced Tim Kopra as Mission Specialist 2 following a bicycle injury on January 15, 2011 that prohibited Kopra from supporting the launch window. Bowen last flew on Atlantis in May 2010 as part of the STS-132 crew. Flying on the STS-133 mission will make Bowen the first astronaut ever to fly on consecutive missions.

Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on February 24, 2011 and landed on March 9, 2011.

STS-133 Mission Lapel Pin

STS-133 Mission Lapel Pin


STS-133 Mission Patch

STS-133 Mission Patch
 

Mission Payload

* STS-133 left Leonardo (one of the three Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules) on the Space Station as a Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM). It was to be used primarily for storage of spares, supplies and waste on the ISS.

* The Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) carried several Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs). A Heat Rejection System Radiator (HRSR) Flight Support Equipment (FSE), which took up one whole side of the ELC. The other primary ORU was the ExPRESS Pallet Controller Avionics 4 (ExPCA #4).

Robonaut 2

Space Shuttle Discovery carried Robonaut 2 to the International Space Station. Robonaut 2 was the first humanoid robot in space and although its primary job for in 2011 was teaching engineers how dexterous robots behave in space, the hope is that through upgrades and advancements, it could one day venture outside the station to help spacewalkers make repairs or additions to the station or perform scientific work.

* Space Shuttle Discovery was set to carry SpaceX's DragonEye (DE) relative navigation sensor on STS-133. The sensor is expected to be installed two weeks later than planned, following a laser rod failure during testing.

* STS-133 carried the signatures of more than 500,000 students who are participated in the 2010 Student Signatures in Space program, which was jointly sponsored by NASA and Lockheed Martin. The students added their signatures to posters May 2010 as part of the annual Space Day celebration. Through their participation, students also received standards-based lessons that contained an exciting space theme. Student Signatures in Space has been active since 1997. In that time, nearly 7 million studentsí signatures from 6,552 schools have been flown on 10 Space Shuttle missions.

* Also aboard Discovery were hundreds of flags, bookmarks and patches which were handed out when the mission returned. The mission will also flew two small LEGO space shuttles in honor of a new educational partnership between Lego and NASA. Astronauts also carried personal mementos including medallions with connections to their schools or military service as well as a William Shakespeare action figure from the University of Texas English Department. A stuffed giraffe mascot from the Hermann Childrens' Hospital at the University of Texas, T-shirts from Lomax Junior High School in La Porte, Texas, a blue, one from a volunteer fire department and a Hawaiian shirt from NASA Johnson Space Center's Education Office.


Crew:

1. Steven W. Lindsey (Commander)
2. Eric A. Boe (Pilot)
3. Benjamin Alvin Drew, Jr. (Mission Specialist 1)
Benjamin Alvin Drew Jr. will be the last African-American astronaut to fly on the space shuttle.
4. Steve Bowen (Mission Specialist 2)
5. Michael R. Barratt (Mission Specialist 3)
6. Nicole Stott (Mission Specialist 4)

Note: Bowen replaced astronaut Tim Kopra, who was injured in a bicycle accident in January 2011.


Related:

Did you know?

* STS133 is the 39th flight of Space Shuttle Discovery, the 35th Shuttle Mission to the International Space Station, the 108th post-Challenger mission, the 20th post-Columbia mission and the 164th American manned space flight.

* The next mission STS-134 will be launched in 2011. The last space shuttle mission ever is STS-135.


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Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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