Well this stinks. Space Shuttle Discovery is in the closing stages of preparation for its final flight ever. After that I guess American astronauts will have to hitchhike their way into orbit, which is pretty lame, I think you’ll agree. The launch is scheduled for November 1.
The mission, STS-133, will bring “important spare parts” to the International Space Station. More fun that “important spare parts,” Discovery will also deliver a Robonaut-2 robot.
Should everything go according to plan, this will be the 39th flight for Discovery.
There may yet be one more Space Shuttle flight—Atlantis, sometime next year—but Nasa hasn’t committed to that. Kinda hard to launch these things with zero money in the budget.