Beginning of the End For the Space Shuttle Program
Today the Space Shuttle Discovery ended its career
after 27 years of service to NASA's space program. Currently NASA's oldest working space shuttle, Discovery holds the record as the world's most flown spaceship after completing its 39th mission carrying astronauts to the International Space Station. Over the years, Discovery has gained a high reputation, coming to be known as NASA's flagship space shuttle after completing many challenging missions. Since its first flight in 1984, Discovery has completed many important missions which includes sending U.S. Senator Jake Garn into space, launching the iconic Hubble Space Telescope and the Assembly of the International Space Station.
The retirement of Discovery marks the beginning of the end of NASA's Space Shuttle Program
with the final missions of the other two operating space shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour scheduled for later this year. The program was schedule to retire in 2005 after President George Bush initiated the Constellation Program which was suppose to be its replacement. Due to the cost of the program, President Obama decided to exclude it from the 2011 U.S. Federal Budget. Until any new spaceship program is approved by the government NASA would have to rely on the Russian spacecrafts to send its astronauts into space.