Tayside and Central Scotland

Shuttle crew board Scott's ship RSS Discovery in Dundee

Discovery crew on RSS Discovery
Image caption The astronauts were on shuttle Discovery's last mission in March

Astronauts who flew on space shuttle Discovery's last flight have boarded Captain Scott's Antarctic exploration vessel during a visit to Dundee.

Lord Provost John Letford welcomed the Nasa crew to the research ship RRS Discovery.

Discovery was launched in the city in 1901 for Captain Robert Falcon Scott's first Antarctic journey.

The crew's visit to Dundee comes months after they returned from the modern Discovery's final mission to space.

Atlantis lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 1630 BST on Friday for the last ever flight of the shuttle programme.

'Modern explorers'

Dundee City Council said the Discovery astronauts - Michael Barratt, Eric Boe, Benjamin Drew and Nicole Stott - were shown how the RSS Discovery helped expand the boundaries of knowledge in the early 20th Century.

The Lord Provost said: "The city of Dundee enjoys close links with Nasa and our ties have been strengthened through our mutual interest in RRS Discovery and admiration for Captain Scott and his crew.

"I am very proud to be with these modern explorers as they see for themselves the ship that helped shape a greater understanding of our world.

"This is a memorable day for Dundee as we invite the astronauts to share in our history and see how we are using it to inspire our future."

The Discovery crew also presided over a "rocket launch" at Abertay University's Tayside Space School. The water rockets were launched by local primary school children.

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