STS-133 Commander Steve Lindsey, foreground aircraft, and Pilot Eric Boe are ready to take off and perform touch-and-go landings aboard two Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) on the Shuttle Landing Facility runway at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. STAs are Gulfstream II business jets that are modified to mimic the shuttle's handling during the final phase of landing. Practice landings are part of standard training before space shuttle Discovery's launch to the International Space Station.
Scheduled to lift off Feb. 24 at 4:50 p.m. EST, Discovery and its six-member crew will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module, packed with supplies and critical spare parts, as well as Robonaut 2, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, to the orbiting outpost. For more information on the STS-133 mission, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts133/. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett