Space shuttle Discovery has embarked on its 39th mission to space.

Following the current mission, NASA will retire Discovery and end 26 years of space history.

These photos collect images of Discovery from its prime in 1984 to its final mission to the stars.

 

(Photos: 1 NASA; 2 NASA; 3 NASA/Tony Landis; 4 NASA/Jim Grossmann; 5 ESA/NASA; 6 NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis; 7 NASA; 8 NASA/Amy Lombardo)