Space Shuttle's Celebrity Mission

"I like to tell the story because I want to motivate the kids that are out there, all the Hispanic kids that are out there that think that ... they are in a financial situation where college is not in the works," he said. "That that is not true, where there is a will, there is a way and I will trade my story with theirs and hopefully they will say, 'Well, Jose did it, and I can do it.'"

C.O.L.B.E.R.T. and Frisbees

Swedish Astronaut Christer Fuglesang is more famous for his Frisbee skills than as a particle physicist. He brought up a Frisbee on his last mission, but his time on this mission will be taken up with a spacewalk and transferring thousands of pounds of cargo from Discovery to the International Space Station.

For him, the orbiting outpost is more than a science mission. "It is a peace mission," he said. "Cultures and countries that do not get together are forced to work together. It has not always been easy but, in the end, we have found compromises and, in the end, it has actually helped us to work towards peace on the globe."

Discovery's mission is scheduled to last 13 days. The crew will do some basic maintenance on the space station, and the supplies they bring are needed if the station is to sustain a six-member crew.

They will also set up C.O.L.B.E.R.T. (Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill). NASA named the treadmill for Colbert as a sort of consolation prize when the space agency chose to name the next module going to the space station Tranquility instead of Colbert, despite the votes from his viewers.

After this mission, NASA has six more space shuttle flights scheduled to finish the space station before the shuttle fleet is scheduled for retirement next year.

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