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STS-133 Cosmic Corridor
STS-133 mission patch
STS-133 Mission Patch

The STS-133 mission patch is based upon sketches from the deceased artist Robert McCall. A space shuttle orbiter soars into a dark blue sky above a plume of fire. Stars surround the orbiter. The mission number is in the center of the patch. The crew members' names are listed on the border of the patch.

STS-133 crew
STS-133 Crew

The STS-133 crew members celebrate the end of crew training with a cake-cutting ceremony at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Pictured from the left are NASA astronauts Eric Boe (bo), pilot; Alvin Drew, mission specialist; Steve Lindsey, commander; Michael Barratt, Tim Kopra and Nicole Stott, all mission specialists. (As of January 2011, Steve Bowen will replace Kopra.)

Steve Lindsey stands beside Robonaut 2
The Commander

Steve Lindsey is the commander of STS-133. This is the 133rd space shuttle flight and the 35th shuttle flight to the International Space Station. STS-133 is an 11-day mission. The mission delivers Robonaut 2, a new module and an experiment platform.

Illustration of the space station with the new parts highlighted
International Space Station Configuration

The STS-133 crew will install a new module for storage and experiments. The module, Leonardo, has been used as a moving van for carrying equipment to the station. Now the module will remain on the station and be called a Permanent Multipurpose Module, or PMM. The STS-133 astronauts also are taking ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 4. ELC4 is a platform that will hold experiments.

Night view of space shuttle Discovery spotlighted on the way to the launch pad
Goodbye, Discovery

STS-133 is the last scheduled mission of space shuttle Discovery. It flew its first mission in 1984. Discovery launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit in 1990. At the end of STS-133, Discovery will have flown 39 times -- more missions than any other shuttle.

Robonaut 2 holds a 20-pound weight
Robonaut 2

The first humanlike robot launched on STS-133. Robonaut 2, or R2, will live on the space station. R2 has a head, a torso and humanlike arms with hands. It can use the same tools that crew members use. The 330-pound robot is 3 feet 4 inches tall from waist to head.

STS-133 crew members stand around R2
Testing R2

Robonaut 2 rides to the International Space Station packed inside the Leonardo module. At the station, R2 will live and work in the Destiny Lab. Engineers want to learn how this type of robot will operate in space.

R2 stands in front of space shuttle mock-up
More About R2

Once the engineers learn how R2 works inside the station, the crew can add software or a lower body. Then R2 will be able to move around and someday work outside in the vacuum of space. Working in space will help NASA understand what robots will be able to do on future deep space missions.

Crew members watch a simulation of the station and shuttle
Training Day

Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott, both mission specialists, train in a simulator for the STS-133 mission. The crew simulates using the robotic arm from the space station's Cupola. The simulation includes moving scenes of full-sized International Space Station components above Earth.

Drew (at left), Bowen (at right) wear virtual reality equipment during a training session

Astronauts Alvin Drew and Steve Bowen use virtual reality hardware at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, to prepare for their spacewalks. The two mission specialists will make two spacewalks during STS-133. They will install new equipment. The spacewalkers will take a bottle outside with them. They will "fill" the bottle with space. The bottle will go in a museum in Japan.

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