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'Farewell, Discovery' as shuttle ends its final mission

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Discovery's last dance
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The shuttle landed just before noon ET
  • Discovery's first launch was August 30, 1984
  • Discovery has logged more than 148 million miles in orbit

(CNN) -- The last chapter in the story of the space shuttle Discovery ended Wednesday as the shuttle landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Discovery touched down just before noon ET as planned.

Crowds of onlookers cheered.

The announcer on NASA TV called it "the end of a historic journey" and added, "To the ship that has led the way time and time again we say, 'Farewell, Discovery.'"

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Discovery retires having logged more than 148 million miles in orbit during 39 flights. It spent 365 days in space during its lifetime.

Discovery's first launch was August 30, 1984.

The shuttle undocked from the International Space Station at 8:37 a.m. on Monday, completing a 13-day mission to outfit the space station.

The nearly three-decade shuttle program is scheduled to end later this year.

 
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