After Discovery, another legendary orbited is heading towards retirement – Endeavour is only one mission away from a lifetime of well deserved rest. But until that, the astronauts which will ride Endeavour on its last trip are preparing intensely for it; after all, they have to prepare a major astrophysics experiment, as well as deliver some supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).

“My crew and I will get to strap in,” Endeavour commander Mark Kelly told reporters after arriving in Florida Monday. “We practice the launch countdown that day and I know these guys are excited to do this. TCDT, or the terminal countdown demonstration test, is when the processing and the training kind of comes together.”

“We like coming in to see the space shuttle,” Kelly said. “It’s always exciting, especially when you’re three weeks away from launch.”

I bet it is ! I can only imagine the thrill and the excitement that come with a mission such as this one, but for Endeavour, this is not really such a big deal. After all, after 24 missions, you kind of get used to it; after this mission, Endeavour will enter its retirement – hopefully, to be replaced by a more performant shuttle.

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