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Shuttle lands – last flights imminent

The space shuttle Discovery landed at Kennedy Space Centre this morning, ending mission STS-131 to the International Space Station. Under current plans, this means that the next three flights will each be the last flight of an orbiter before retirement. Atlantis launches May 14 on missions STS-132 and will be retired thereafter – this is the shuttle that Chris Hadfield flew on to the Russian space station Mir. Endeavour’s last flight is scheduled for a July 29th launch – this is the shuttle that has carried the most Canadian astronauts into orbit of all of the shuttles. The last shuttle flight ever is scheduled to be Discovery’sflight in September. If you’ve never seen a shuttle launch, these are your last chances ever! Definitely worth the trip, even if the launch is scrubbed or rescheduled – Kennedy Space Centre is a great place for space enthusiasts. Plan to spend two full days there if you want to take the (highly recommended) behind-the-scenes tours.

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Scott Young

Manager of Science Communications and Visitor Experiences

“Scott is the Planetarium Astronomer at the Manitoba Museum, developing astronomy and science programs. He has been an informal science educator for thirty years, working in the planetarium and science centre field both at The Manitoba Museum and also at the Alice G. Wallace Planetarium in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Scott is an active amateur astronomer and a past-President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.”