The first of NASA's space shuttle's to reach retirement age landed today after completing its final mission to the International Space Station.
Welcome Home Discovery! You've done your crews, your nation and the world a great service during the past three decades. Actually four, come to think of it, OV-103 first flew in 1984.
According to NASA, even after shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis make their final voyages in the coming months, Discovery will still hold the all-time record with 39 missions, 148 million miles flown (238 million kilometers), 5,830 orbits of Earth and 365 days spent in space. All that was achieved in less than 27 years.
Those of us in the D.C. area are lucky - we'll see you soon. According to what I've heard, you'll be replacing OV-101, the Space Shuttle Enterprise, at the Udvar-Hazy Center out at Dulles.
I can only hope the next Discovery will be as faithful a ship as you've been. Best of luck in your retirement Discovery, and may you have fair winds and following seas for the rest of your days.