On April 5th, 2010 while on vacation in Florida I saw the space shuttle Discovery launched into orbit for the STS-131 mission. This is the NASA website’s overview of the mission: http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/131_flash/. This is the fourth to last space shuttle launch.
The launch’s video can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NeCvBCZbC8. The objective of the STS-131 mission was to carry the Leonardo logistics module to the International Space Station and back. A video of the station’s assembly is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLLF13IuAMI. The Leonardo logistics module was designed to carry experiments to space and back. The Leonardo will be permanently attached to the space station’s unity node (the first American made module of the space station) on STS-133.
The international space station a.k.a ISS is a space station created by many nations in the world. Including; Russia, China, America, Italy, France, and Japan. If you go to a NASA website you can find out when you will be able to see the ISS with just your eyes. This link is to the website: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/SSapplications/Post/JavaSSOP/JavaSSOP.html. We saw it passing over and almost mistook it for an airplane passing overhead had we not checked the website.
The space shuttle was created as a reusable spacecraft. The space shuttle program was launched on April 12th, 1981. It carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit on April 24th, 1990. The space shuttle also carried the first American piece of the ISS into orbit, it was called the unity node. There are currently three spacecraft left: Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavor. There are two more launches left, STS-133: Discovery on September 16th and STS-134: Atlantis in November.