Space News space history and artifacts articles Messages space history discussion forums Sightings worldwide astronaut appearances Resources selected space history documents

                  arrow advertisements

Space shuttle Discovery's final delivery

Space shuttle Discovery is returning from space with a mostly empty payload bay and a well-packed crew cabin. (NASA)
March 9, 2011

— Space shuttle Discovery is set to return from space today carrying its last "home delivery" of cargo from the International Space Station (ISS).

Having launched and added to the orbital complex its final load of space-bound payloads — including the last module for the U.S. side of the station, the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module — Discovery is making its 39th and final return to the ground with a mostly empty payload bay and a well-packed crew cabin.

The world's most flown spacecraft, Discovery has over the course of its total of 365 days in space delivered some of NASA's more notable payloads in its 26 years of service. The oldest of the United States' space shuttles still flying, Discovery deployed the Hubble Telescope, the solar probe Ulysses, and the station's largest laboratory, Japan's Kibo pressurized module.

Discovery has launched and returned from orbit Spacelab and Spacehab modules, multi-purpose logistic modules for the International Space Station, and the first two satellites ever brought back from orbit to be serviced.

On this, it's final mission before being retired and placed in a museum, Discovery's Earth-bound cargo includes 2,599 pounds of equipment and experiment results coming home from the space station.

Returning in Discovery's cargo bay is a lightweight adapter plate that was used to support experiments on the outside of the European Columbus laboratory. It was retrieved and stowed aboard the shuttle during the second spacewalk of this STS-133 mission.

Also in the bay, packaged inside a modified tool storage container, are some 30,000 cloth patches commemorating the 30-year shuttle program. The emblems, which were put aboard before Discovery launched, will be distributed after the mission to NASA and contractor employees who made this flight and the program possible.

The patches are not the only souvenirs aboard Discovery.

As on all of Discovery's missions, not to mention the other orbiters, the shuttle is carrying an Official Flight Kit (OFK). Packed inside the duffle bag-size kit are mission patches, lapel pins, medallions, flags, banners and other mementos for organizations that have supported Discovery's six crew members and the mission.

A complete inventory of the STS-133 OFK, as obtained by collectSPACE, is provided below.

The astronauts are also allowed to bring smaller pouches, called Personal Preference Kits (PPKs), with souvenirs for family members and friends. As their name implies, these kits' contents are personal and not disclosed.

Outside of their OFK and PPK items, the astronauts also have a few additional mementos, which they either brought with them or picked up at the space station. Among them:

  • Flat Stanley Timothy

    : Tim Kopra, who was injured in a bike accident resulting in his being replaced on Discovery's STS-133 crew by Steve Bowen, called his former crew mates early in the mission and told them he was with them "in spirit." In response, they told him he was there "in a little bit more." Although not yet confirmed, photos taken aboard Discovery appear to reveal what they meant. Flying with them is a small cardboard cutout of Kopra dressed in his orange pressure suit.

  • Tracking tag

    : Mission specialist Michael Barratt is a "geocacher," participating in global — and in this case off-globe — GPS-enabled treasure hunts. One such "treasure," or Travel Bug, was left on the ISS by an earlier visitor. As reported by Latitude 47, the official blog of, Barratt is bringing the well-traveled tracking tag back to Earth after its two years on-orbit.

  • Flying brick(s)

    : The shuttle is sometimes referred to as a "flying brick," because it returns from space as a very heavy glider. On board Discovery are two mini-"flying bricks," made out of toy bricks. To kick off a partnership with LEGO, NASA flew two space shuttles built from 60 of the snap-together bricks.

  • Up hill

    : Connected to the Isle of Man through her husband who serves as its "government's honorary representative to the space community," astronaut Nicole Stott packed a monogrammed cloth for the island's Manx Museum in the OFK. She also has a piece of Tynwald Hill, the ceremonial home of the Isle of Man's parliament, which is composed of soil from each of the isle's 17 parishes representing the entire island.

The STS-133 Official Flight Kit Manifest

The following is the STS-133 Official Flight Kit manifest, as provided by NASA. Inventory numbers that are missing indicate items that were removed prior to launch.

No.   Description   Sponsor/Purpose
  1. 625 STS-133 crew patches
  2. 75 Expedition 26 patches
  Agency Presentation
2.   800 Small United States Flags   Agency Presentation
3.   5 Sets U.S. States & Territories Flags   Agency Presentation
4.   5 Sets United Nations Members Flags   Agency Presentation
  1. 50 Small Texas Flags
  2. 20 Small Flags of Russia
  3. 2 Small NASA Flags
  4. 25 NASA Patches
  5. 1 Large (3") JSC Medallion
  6. 6 Small (2") JSC Medallions
  7. 3 NASA Seal Medallions (2 Bronze, 1 Silver)
  8. 1 Silver Shuttle Pendant
  9. 1 Gold Shuttle Pendant
  10. 3'x5' Flag of Guam
  Agency Presentation
6.   10 Small (4"x6") State Flags:
  1. California
  2. Nebraska
  3. Georgia
  4. Florida
  5. Texas
  6. District of Columbia
  7. New York
  8. Washington
  Agency Presentation
7.   5 Small (4"x6") Flags:
  1. New Zealand
  2. Finland
  3. Canada
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Vatican
  Agency Presentation
8.   Small (4"x6") Military Flags:
  1. 30 U.S. Air Force
  2. 20 U.S. Army
  3. 20 U.S. Coast Guard
  4. 20 U.S. Marine Corps
  5. 20 U.S. Navy
  Agency Presentation
9.   60 NASA Medallions   Agency Presentation
  1. 10 Small United States Flags
  2. 10 Small Alabama State Flags
  Marshall Space Flight Center Presentation
  1. 10 Small Louisiana State Flags
  2. 10 Small Mississippi State Flags
  3. 5 Small NASA Flags
  4. 5 Small United States Flags
  Stennis Space Center Presentation
  1. 5 Small United States Flags
  2. 5 Small Florida State Flags
  Kennedy Space Center Presentation
13.   200 Silver Snoopy Pins   Space Flight Awareness Presentation
14.   25 EVA Patches   Agency Presentation
  1. 10 STS-133 Crew Patches
  2. 34 Small (4"x6") U.S. flags
  3. 10 Space Development & Test Wing Coins
  4. 10 DoD Space Test Program Patches
  5. 10 Human Spaceflight Support Office Patches
  6. 10 Human Spaceflight Support Office Medallions
  7. 5 USS Hopper (DDG-70) Unit Coins
  8. 1 20th Space Control Squadron Unit Patch
  9. 1 20th Space Control Squadron Unit Scarf
  DoD Presentation
16.   25 COD Patches   Center Operations Directorate Presentation
17.   25 Mission Operations Patches   Mission Operation Directorate Presentation
18.   100 Small Metal Shuttle Tokens   Agency Presentation
19.   Miniature Computer Disc   Agency Presentation
20.   6" CKCC Patch   Agency Presentation
21.   EMS Patch   Agency Presentation
22.   9"x9" Detroit Rotary Club Banner   Agency Presentation
Items 23 through 70 are manifested at the request of the STS-133 crewmembers.
23.   Green and Gold Athletic Letter   Temple City High School, Temple City, CA
24.   Green and White Checked Squadron Patch   38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Zweibrucken AB, Germany
25.   20"x29" White and Blue Pennant   Space Camp, Turkey, Ismir, Turkey
26.   Associate of Graduates Medallion   U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson, OH
27.   5"x8" Blue Logo on Black Fabric   Amy Blake's Academy of Dance, Houston, TX
28.   3'x5' White Flag with City Seal   City of Temple City, CA
29.   Round Red and Navy Lapel Pin   First United Methodist Church, Temple City, CA
30.   White Lapel Pin   Dean L. Shively School, South El Monte, CA
31.   Red and Navy Lapel Pin   New Temple School, South El Monte, CA
32.   4'x6' Orange and Gold Banner   Redeemer Episcopal Church, Houston, TX
33.   Gold Naval Test Wing Command Medallion   Naval Test Wing Atlantic, Patuxent River, MD
34.   Silver Commemorative Medallion   The Spaatz Association, Washington, DC
35.   Navy "Cougar" Lapel Pin   Henderson Middle School, Atlanta, GA
36.   Silver, Red and Blue Test Pilot School Medallion   U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, CA
37.   3-3/4" White and Green Plastic Coaster   Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta, GA
38.   Squadron Patch   Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron, Atlanta, GA
39.   6"x14" Navy and White Pennant   U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
40.   9"x11" Poster   Seabrook Intermediate School, Seabrook, TX
41.   Gold Medallion   School of Contemporary Science, University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland
42.   22"x22" Red and White Bandana   National Association of Women MBAs, University of Houston Chapter, Houston, TX
43.   Gray T-shirt With Logo   Lomax Junior High School, La Porte, TX
44.   Blue Hawaiian Print Shirt   JSC Education Office, Houston, TX
45.   Gold Lapel Pin   Tech Trans International, Houston, TX
46.   Navy T-Shirt with Logo   League City Volunteer Fire Department Station 2, League City, TX
47.   3'x5' United States Flag   Science Application International Corporation, Houston, TX
48.   Multicolored Medallion   Astronaut Candidate Class of 2009, Houston, TX
49.   Bronze International Space Station Medallion   ISS Program Integration & Control, Houston, TX
50.   Bronze International Space Station Medallion   ARES Corporation, Houston, TX
51.   Oval "Operation Enduring Freedom" Medallion   7th Squadron 17th Air Calvary, Fort Knox, KY
52.   Screaming Eagles Medallion   101st Aviation Brigade, Fort Campbell, KY
53.   6"x6" Pink Marble Tile   MD Anderson Center, Houston, TX
54.   3" Bronze University Medallion   University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX
55.   2-3/4" Shakespeare Plastic Figurine   Shakespeare at University of Texas English Department, Austin, TX
56.   Gold Flight Surgeon Wings   JSC Medical Operations Branch, Houston, TX
57.   7.5"x11" Stuffed Giraffe Mascot   University of Texas Hermann Children's Hospital, Houston, TX
58.   11"x14" School Banner   Camas High School, Camas, WA
59.   Multicolored Baseball Cap   American Board of Preventive Medicine, Chicago, IL
60.   U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab Patch   Fort Rucker Aeromedical Lab, Fort Rucker, AL
61.   8.5"x11" Poster   Plumb Elementary, Clearwater, FL
62.   Red & Gray Athletic Letter   Clearwater High School, Clearwater, FL
63.   Multicolored Men's Tie   Millfield, Somerset, England
64.   Gold and Red Chinese Ceremonial Jacket   Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation, Houston, TX
65.   3'x5' White Cloth with Emblem   Manx Museum, Isle of Man, UK
66.   Silver, Navy and White Medallion   Jacobs Engineering, Houston, TX
67.   Gold Astronaut Pin   Agency Presentation
68.   Silver U.S. Air Force Wings   Agency Presentation
69.   Gold Medical Wings   Agency Presentation
70.   Gold Astronaut Pin   Agency Presentation
Items 71 and 97 are manifested at the request of the STS-133 payload customers.
71.   500 Small (4"x6") Discovery Flags   Kennedy Space Center Presentation
72.   400 Bookmarks   Space Shuttle Program (SSP) Presentation
73.   100 STS-133 Crew Patches   SSP Presentation
74.   30 Space-X DragonEye Patches   SSP Presentation
75.   8.5"x11" Photograph   SSP Presentation
76.   100 ULF5 Mission Pins   International Space Station (ISS) Presentation
77.   26 Collier Medallions   ISS Presentation
78.   36 ELC Patches   ISS Presentation
79.   2 Remmele Placards   ISS Presentation
80.   6 each 5"x5" Brass Placards   ISS Presentation
81.   50 HRP - UMS Patches   ISS Presentation
82.   30 HRP - MARES Decals   ISS Presentation
83.   100 Robonaut Patches   ISS Presentation
84.   50 United States Flags   ISS Presentation
85.   96 ISS HAM Decals   ISS Presentation
86.   100 SCAN Testbed Decals   ISS Presentation
87.   15 MSG Glovebox Patches   ISS Presentation
88.   20 HRP Integrated Immune Patches   ISS Presentation
89.   30 Apex-Cambium Decals   ISS Presentation
90.   20 Apex-Cambium Photographs   ISS Presentation
91.   20 Bioserve Flags   ISS Presentation
92.   50 POIC Decals   ISS Presentation
93.   30 SCF-MI2 Decals   ISS Presentation
94.   10 SCF-MI2 Patches   ISS Presentation
95.   100 LM Pins   ISS Presentation
96.   100 PMM Patches   ISS Presentation
97.   PMM Banner   ISS Presentation
98.   25 JSC S&MA Patches   JSC Presentation
Late Addition
1.   Charm with artifact in gold shadow box frame   Mary Queen Catholic Church, Friendswood, TX
2.   Red and white company brochure (8 1/2"x14")   Sweet Spot Audio and More, Webster, TX
3.   Space Shuttle Program "30 Year" commemorative patch   JSC International Travel Office, Houston, TX

back to collectSPACE
© 2022 All rights reserved.
Feedback: Messages