Discovery to undock from ISS on Tuesday; ‘Buzz Lightyear’ packed for ‘back home’ trip!

International Space Station

With the Discovery space shuttle being prepared for its undocking from the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday for the 'back home' trip, 5,000 pounds of surplus items from the ISS, a portable cargo module and an ISS crew-member, Timothy Kopra - who has been replaced at the ISS by Nicole Scott - will be a part of the shuttle's return journey, and its Friday touch-down!

In addition, the Discovery crew will also bring along the 12-inch action figure 'Buzz Lightyear', which has been at the ISS for over a year! The Discovery crew has been instructed by Mission Control to conduct a final check for ensuring that Buzz was put away safely on the shuttle, before the shuttle's hatches are closed late Monday night.

Having been pulled out for widespread filming of late, the 'Buzz Lightyear' toy - which had remained rather discreet ever since its June 2008 arrival at the ISS - has become "the longest serving astronaut in space," as per the description by a Walt Disney World spokesman, who said that the toy will participate in "several debriefing sessions" and then a ticker tape procession with Buzz Aldrin, the Apollo 11 moonwalker!

Meanwhile, the ISS and Discovery crew will hold a farewell gathering before the departing astronauts move inside the space shuttle, and the hatch dividing the orbiting platform and the spacecraft is closed!

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