SCIENCE

The Age of Discovery

Watch NASA latest Shuttle Discovery mission, STS-131, from lift-off to the International space station and back again.

Shuttle Approaches Florida

Space shuttle Discovery is just visible on NASA's cameras as it begins its descent towards Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Nearing the Ground

The Space Shuttle nears the runway, still moving at hundreds of miles per hour. The shuttle slowed during its descent from a maximum speed of 11,000 miles per hour. 

Shuttle Over Runway

Discovery's wheels seem to hang over the runway as the craft taxis to a stop at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Touchdown in Florida

Discovery's wheels make contact with the ground, following 6,232,235 miles of space flight.

Taxiing in Florida

Discovery lands safely in Kennedy, at 9:08 a.m. on Tuesday, April 20.

Shuttle Landing

The shuttle just comes into view, a few minutes prior to landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Shuttle Discovery Heads Home

Space shuttle Discovery flies with its payload bay facing Earth so that the astronauts and cosmonauts on board the International Space Station could survey and photograph it following the separation of the two spacecraft.

NASA

Kennedy Shrouded in Fog

The Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center sits partially obscured by fog Monday, April 19, 2010, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Shuttle Over the Earth

April 13: A portion of the aft section of the docked space shuttle Discovery (STS-131), Mexico, Baja California, and the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 23 crew member on the International Space Station.

NASA

Weightless Weightlifting

April 14: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronauts Soichi Noguchi, Expedition 23 flight engineer; and Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, pose for a photo in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station while space shuttle Discovery remains docked with the station.

NASA

Spacewalking

April 13: NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson, STS-131 mission specialist, participates in the mission's third and final session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. During the six-hour, 24-minute spacewalk, Anderson and astronaut Rick Mastracchio, mission specialist, hooked up fluid lines of the new 1,700-pound tank, retrieved some micrometeoroid shields from the Quest airlock's exterior, relocated a portable foot restraint and prepared cables on the Zenith 1 truss for a spare Space to Ground Ku-Band antenna, two chores required before space shuttle Atlantis' mission in May.

NASA

Zero Gravity Gymnastics

April 14: NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, STS-131 mission specialist, is pictured in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station while space shuttle Discovery remains docked with the station.

NASA

Spacewalk

Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio works on a task during the third STS-131 spacewalk.

NASA TV

Going in

Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson return to the airlock module after a six-hour 24-minute spacewalk.

NASA TV

Guests on Board

April 9: In this image provided by NASA seven STS-131 crew members -- working guests for several days aboard the International Space Station -- are seen in Japan's Kibo laboratory during a video downlink to the ground. NASA astronaut Alan Poindexter is at bottom right. Others pictured are astronauts James P. Dutton Jr. (top edge of frame) and Rick Mastracchio (from far left), Clayton Anderson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger and Stephanie Wilson, along with Japan's Naoko Yamazaki, all mission specialists.

AP Photo/NASA

Hanging on

STS-131 Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio participates in the mission's first spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

NASA

A View of the Main Engines

The Expedition 23 crew photographed this view of the aft portion of space shuttle Discovery, including the three main engines, during a survey of the approaching vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station. As part of the survey and part of every mission's activities, the STS-131 Discovery crew performed a back flip as part of the rendezvous pitch maneuver.

NASA

Waving from the Shuttle

April 7: This partial view of the crew cabin and forward payload bay of the space shuttle Discovery was provided by an Expedition 23 crew member during a survey of the approaching vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station. As part of the survey and part of every mission's activities, the STS-131 Discovery crew performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). The image was photographed with a digital still camera at a distance of about 600 feet.

NASA

Space Moving Van

April 8: The cargo pod Leonardo, a multi-purpose logistics module for the International Space Station, is attached to the Earth-facing berth of the outpost's Harmony node after being moved from shuttle Discovery's payload bay during the STS-131 mission.

NASA TV

Shuttle Cargopod

April 7: This view from a camera on the hull of the International Space Station shows the shuttle Discovery and its Leonardo cargo pod during transfer work on April 7, 2010 on NASA's STS-131 mission.

NASA TV

Shuttle Engines in Space

April 7: This view of the aft portion of the space shuttle Discovery, including the three main engines and part of the cargo bay, was provided by an Expedition 23 crew member during a survey of the approaching vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station. As part of the survey and part of every mission's activities, the STS-131 Discovery crew performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver.

NASA

Discovery Docks

April 7: This TV image provided by NASA shows the pressurized mating adapter Harmony node of International Space Station from the docking camera onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as it approaches the space station for docking.

AP

Shuttle Docking

April 7: This TV image provided by NASA shows the pressurized mating adapter on the Harmony node of the International Space Station, bottom, as the Space Shuttle Discovery is just inches away from docking with the space station early Wednesday morning.

AP Photo/NASA

Shuttle Discovery Launch

April 5: Space Shuttle Discovery takes off. Discovery's seven member crew are on a mission to deliver science racks, the last of the crew quarters and supplies to the International Space Station.

AP

Lift-Off

April 5: Space Shuttle Discovery takes off from pad 39a at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on a mission to the International Space Station..

AP

The Countdown Is On

April 5: With Countdown Clock in the foreground, Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off.

AP

Prepping for Launch

April 4: A worker looks out from beneath the Space Shuttle Discovery after the rotating service structure had moved away from the shuttle.

AP

Prepping for Launch

April 4: Tourists view Space Shuttle Discovery after the Rotating Service Structure had moved away from the shuttle during final preparations.

AP

Engine Check

April 4: Workers near the main engines of Space Shuttle Discovery after the Rotating Service Structure had moved away from the shuttle during final preparations.

AP

Discovery Stands Ready

April 4: Space shuttle Discovery stands ready at launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

AP

Discovery Prepares to Launch

April 4: Space shuttle Discovery stands on pad 39A as final preparations are made for launch at the Kennedy Space Center.

AP

Discovery Crew

April 5: The crew of space shuttle Discovery, clockwise from left front, pilot James Dutton, mission specialist Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, mission specialists Clayton Anderson, Stephanie Wilson, Rick Mastracchio and commander Alan Poindexter, leave the Operations and Checkout building on their way to board the shuttle on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

AP

Clayton Anderson

April 5: Astronaut Clayton Anderson, a mission specialist on space shuttle Discovery, leaves the Operations and Checkout building on his way to board the shuttle. 

AP

Naoko Yamazaki

April 5: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, a mission specialist on space shuttle Discovery, leaves the Operations and Checkout building on her way to the shuttle.

AP

Smoke After Discovery Launch

April 5: Smoke from Space Shuttle Discovery after lift-off.

AP

ISS Passes Before the Moon

April 5: The International Space Station (ISS), upper left, passes the moon as viewed from the Kennedy Space Center. Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off moments later on a mission to the ISS.

AP

The Age of Discovery

Watch NASA latest Shuttle Discovery mission, STS-131, from lift-off to the International space station and back again.

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