Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off from Florida for its last mission

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The U.S. shuttle Discovery blasted off Thursday from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station (ISS) for its last mission before retirement.

Discovery left the launch pad at 4:53 local time (2153 GMT) with a crew of six members led by Commander Steven Lindsey. The flight was the 39th and last of the shuttle, which spent eleven days on orbit.

NASA plans to launch Endeavour in April and also hopes to secure funding necessary for a final mission to resupply the ISS by the shuttle Atlantis in June.

Discovery is NASA’s most traveled space shuttle, with nearly three decades of service.

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