The space shuttle Discovery is due to dock with the international space station shortly after 11:33am Eastern Time when it will initiate its final burn, which will last for 11 seconds. There is some final manoeuvring to do before the final burn. Discovery is around 9 miles away from the International Space Station as of 16:29 GMT.
Discovery took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4:53 p.m. EST on February 24th 2011. Discovery and its six-member crew are on a mission to deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module, packed with supplies and critical spare parts, as well as Robonaut 2, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, to the International Space Station. Discovery is making its 39th mission and is scheduled to be retired afterwards.
The crew members on the STS-133 mission are; Commander Steven Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt, Steve Bowen and Nicole Stott. Bowen replaced astronaut Tim Kopra, who was injured in a bicycle accident in January.