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Shuttle Discovery docks with ISS for final time

RIA Novosti

23:18 26/02/2011

MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. Discovery shuttle has successfully docked to the International Space Station (ISS), the NASA said on Saturday.

Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey performed the maneuver at 2:14 p.m. EST, while the two spacecraft were orbiting 220 miles above western Australia.

It was Discovery's 13th and final docking to the space station. After this mission, the shuttle will be retired and placed in a museum. According to NASA, Discovery has flown 38 missions to date - more missions than any other shuttle - and made more than 5,600 trips around the Earth.

"What took you guys so long?" the space station's commander asked. Discovery should have arrived last November, but was grounded by fuel tank cracks. It finally blasted off Thursday. Discovery's skipper apologized for the delay.

Discovery will spend at least a week at the orbiting outpost. Its mission delivered and will install the Permanent Multipurpose Module, the Express Logistics Carrier 4 and provide critical spare components to the International Space Station.

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