The misadventures of Commander Merlin and the crew of RV-103
Saturday May 4th 2013

STS 133 Discovery’s Final Rollout

Monday evening I turned on NASA TV and watched Discovery (OV-103) do her very last rollout to Launch Complex 39 A.  As I was watching the rollout, I called some friends still working at Kennedy Space Center to chat.  It was for them, as it was for me, very bittersweet.  Many of the people I talked with are being laid off next week (1,400 in total from KSC during this round of layoffs) and will not be there to watch Discovery lift off for the last time.  I could hear the crowd cheering as Discovery was carried by the crawler at the breakneck speed of 1 mph.  Work at KSC stopped as everyone went outside to witness Discovery’s progress in this historical event.

The last time. Credit Larry D. Tanner

The next morning, Discovery was safely at LC 39 A and many people took the opportunity to take pictures of her. One young couple, who recently married and work at KSC, posed in front of Discovery in their wedding attire for the most unique wedding picture ever taken.  As Discovery’s productive life is ending, this young couple is starting their own productive journey in life.  The crew of RV-103 wishes them and all the soon to be laid off workers good wishes in their future pursuits in life.  As Spock would say, “Live long and prosper.”

NASA workers Beth and Jesse Palma in their wedding attire posed in front of shuttle Discovery at launch pad. Credit Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel

Well done Kennedy Space Center and well done the people of United Space Alliance!

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