The space shuttle
has launched into space for the last time.
39th and final mission will bring a much-needed cargo storage unit to the international space station.
has earned distinction over the years for visiting the Hubble telescope and the Russian space station Mir and for taking famed astronaut John Glenn back into orbit at age 77.
was also the first shuttle to fly after the
shuttle disasters. Assuming the mission schedule holds, when
returns to earth on March 7, it will have logged just shy of 363 days in flight.