Discovery made her first launch in 1984, and made her last landing yesterday, at about noon EST on March 9th, 2011. So, to put things in perspective, it will be another two years or so before I become older thanDiscovery‘s career.
According to Wired, Discovery has:
flown 39 missions, spent a full 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times and traveled more than of 148 million miles. It has carried 246 people into space, more than any other vehicle, including the first woman to ever pilot a spacecraft, the oldest person to fly in space, the first African-American to perform a spacewalk and the first sitting member of Congress to fly in space.
The shuttle’s 27-year career hit several of the highlights of the space program, including delivering the Hubble Space Telescope to orbit in 1990 (and fixing it twice), carrying a 77-year-old John Glenn back into space in 1998, and leading NASA’s return to space after the loss of Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003.
Discovery‘s cumulative year spent in space is the longest cumulative flight time of any spacecraft in history.
(Vid via I Heart Chaos.)