Discovery will carry a crew of six to and from the space station – Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe, and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Tim Kopra, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott – as well as what used to be the Leonardo Multipurpose Module on a one-way trip. It’s now called the Permanent Multipurpose Module, and rather than returning, it will stay attached to the station’s Unity node to provide extra storage for the space station. And though the concept of a closet in space may not sound too exciting, it’s becoming more important all the time.
Following the STS-133 mission, Discovery will be the first of the shuttle fleet to retire. By the end of STS-133, 180 people will also have flown aboard Discovery, including the first female shuttle pilot and the first female shuttle commander (who happen to be the same person – Eileen Collins), the first African American spacewalker (Bernard Harris) and the first sitting member of congress to fly in space (Jake Garn).
Keep up with STS-133 by visiting the mission website.
Link to the NES Virtual Campus website.