Space Shuttle Discovery launches today at 4:50 EST. This will probably be the second to last mission of the shuttle with STS-134 scheduled for late April. A tentative STS-135 is set for late June. Critics of the shuttle program are reflexively and endlessly tempted to gripe about NASA and the shuttle. But today is not a day for complaints. It is a day for wonder and amazement, and pride. The United States has explored space to a degree no other nation can approach. From placing 12 humans on the surface of the moon, to sending humans the farthest ever from earth, America has been the leader in human exploration for almost a half century. Today’s launch of STS-133 is part of a great American story, of advanced machines formerly confined to the imagination of man for thousands of years. You can watch NASA-TV and the launch here if you are stuck at work. Crank up the speakers and feel the roar and wonder of spaceflight later today.