writes "Overcoming a down-to-the-last-second problem, space shuttle Discovery made history yesterday, launching on its final mission to orbit. The most-traveled orbiter is carrying a crew of six astronauts and one human-like Robonaut, along with a new permanent storeroom and supplies for the International Space Station."
The launch itself went as planned; a few pieces of foam insulation broke free of the external fuel tank
on the way up, but it's not expected to be a safety concern, and they're planning an inspection to make sure. NASA has videos of yesterday's launch
and a Discovery retrospective
, and the Atlantic has a great collection of pictures
involving the shuttle. Mike Coats, pilot of Discovery's first mission in 1984, spoke in an interview about his connection to the orbiter
. Discovery comes back to Earth on March 7th.