Dragon DRP47403 The End of an Era - NASA Space Shuttle Discovery with Solid Rocket Booster [Cutaway Scheme] (1:144 Scale)
"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth."
- U.S. President John F. Kennedy in a speech before the United States Congress, 1961
The Space Shuttle was a reusable launch system and orbital spacecraft operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for human spaceflight missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981 leading to operational flights beginning in 1982, all launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The system was retired from service in 2011 after 135 missions; on July 8th, 2011, Space Shuttle Atlantis performed that 135th launch - the last launch of the three-decade shuttle program. The program ended after Atlantis landed at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21st, 2011. Major missions included launching numerous satellites and interplanetary probes, conducting space science experiments, and servicing and construction of space stations. The Enterprise was the prototype orbiter and was not equipped with engines or heat shields; it was capable only for atmospheric testing. Five space-worthy orbiters were builttwo were destroyed in accidents and three have been retired.
It was used for orbital space missions by NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, the European Space Agency, Japan, and Germany. The United States funded Space Transportation System (STS) development and shuttle operations except for Spacelab D1 and D2 sponsored by West Germany and reunified Germany respectively. In addition, SL-J was partially funded by Japan.
At launch, the Space Shuttle consisted of the shuttle stack, which included a dark orange-colored external tank (ET); two white, slender Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs); and the Orbiter Vehicle (OV), which contained the crew and payload. Some payloads were launched into higher orbits with either of two different booster stages developed for the STS (single-stage Payload Assist Module or two-stage Inertial Upper Stage). The Space Shuttle was stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building and the stack mounted on a mobile launch platform held down by four explosive bolts on each SRB which are detonated at launch.
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Height: 18 inches
Width: 6-1/2 inches
Depth: 7 inches
Release Date: July 2013
Historical Account: "Late Retirement" - NASA retired the Space Shuttle from service in 2011, after 30 years of service. Discovery was the first of NASA's three remaining operational Space Shuttles to be retired. Michael Suffredini of the ISS program said that one additional trip was needed in 2011 to deliver parts to the International Space Station. The Space Shuttle was originally to be retired in late 2010, but was extended until July 2011 according to the NASA launch and mission schedule. One of the smallest shuttle crews in NASA history, composed of just four astronauts - Christopher Ferguson (Commander) , Douglas Hurley (Pilot), Sandra Magnus (Mission Specialist 1), and Rex Walheim (Mission Specialist 2) conducted the 135th and last space shuttle mission on board Atlantis, which launched on July 8th, 2011, and landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21st, 2011, at 5:57 AM EDT (09:57 UTC).