The Discovery space shuttle was the third space rated orbiter in the NASA fleet after Columbia and Challenger. Before its retirement earlier this year, it was the shuttle fleet’s leader at 39 missions.
Discovery was named after three very historic ships in history. Henry Hudson’s Discovery was used in the 1609 founding of Jamestown and it is also famous for Hudson’s 1610-1611 search for the Northwest Passage. The HMS Discovery which was the ship that carried Captain George Nares on the British expedition to the North Pole in 1875-1876. Finally, the RRS Discovery was the main ship of the “Discovery Expedition” lead by Scott and Shackelton to Antarctica.