Space shuttle Discovery stands ready for launch at the Kennedy Space Center last night. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

shuttlenyc0211a.jpgToday at 4:50 p.m., the Space Shuttle Discovery will launch into an 11-day mission to the International Space Station, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This will be the the final flight of the shuttle, which will hopefully be retiring in New York City. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is still trying to win the bid for the Discovery (or one of the other two shuttles retiring, the Endeavor and Atlantis); you can sign their petition to bring it to the city here.

NYC Aviation has more on the mission, and the six astronauts who will be on board the Discovery—they will be bringing the Robonaut 2 up with them, aka the first human-like robot in space!

You can watch the launch coverage at NASA TV. Here's the schedule:

  • 10:15 a.m. — Docking coverage begins
  • 11 a.m. — Pre-launch press conference
  • 11:30 a.m. — Full launch coverage begins
  • 4:50 p.m. — Launch
  • 5:45 p.m. — Post-launch news conference

To get in the mood, here's a scene from the 1986 classic Space Camp: