THE FINAL FRONTIER

Discovery Begins Last Trip to Space

The astronauts aboard the space shuttle Discovery got a send-off from Star Trek’s original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, as the shuttle detached from the International Space Station for the last time. "Space, the final frontier," Shatner said in a message. "These have been the voyages of the space shuttle Discovery. Her 30-year mission: to seek out new science, to build new outposts, to bring nations together on the final frontier, to boldly go and do what no spacecraft has done before." The send-off came at the end of a 13-day mission for Discovery, the world’s most-travelled spaceship, and the end of its use by NASA. Discovery will land back on Earth on Wednesday and then be sent to the Smithsonian Institution for display. Endeavour and Atlantis will make their final trips in April and June, respectively, and American astronauts will go on to hitch rides to the space station on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.