Chertsey Radio Club continues to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the maiden space flight of Space Shuttle Discovery with SES GB8SSD
Space Shuttle Discovery soars away from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, beginning its maiden voyage and a storied spaceflight career that spanned more than 26 years. The on-time liftoff occurred at 8:42 A.M. EDT.
NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery (Orbital Vehicle-103) took off for the first time on August 30, 1984, beginning what would become 27 years of reliable service.
In its nearly three decades of use, Discovery successfully completed 39 missions, the first of which was putting three communication satellites into orbit
This maiden voyage came more than two months later than planned. It was delayed from its originally scheduled launch date after experiencing the Space Shuttle program's first launch abort at T-6 seconds on June 26, 1984.
Discovery includes among its many credits the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, John Glenn’s second flight (when he was 77 years old), and both research and International Space Station assembly missions.
Discovery’s last launch was in February 2011, before it was retired in March 2011. It was the first operational NASA shuttle to be retired, followed by Endeavour and Atlantis.
Discovery celebrated its retirement with an April 2012 victory lap where it piggy backed on a modified Boeing 747 to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, on its way to be put permanent display.