Monday, 31 August 2009 16:09

Space Shuttle Discovery Finally Launched on Friday, August 28th

Written by  NASA
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The Space Shuttle Discovery is Launched from NASA's Kennedy Space CenterThe Space Shuttle Discovery finally launched on Friday at 11:59 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The shuttle and its seven member crew will deliver supplies, equipment and a new crew member to the International Space Station.

The Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, a pressurized "moving van" that will be temporarily installed to the station. The module is intended to deliver storage racks; materials and fluids science racks; a freezer to store research samples; a new sleeping compartment; an air purification system; and a treadmill named after comedian Stephen Colbert. The name Colbert ws chosen after it received the most entries in NASA's online poll to name the station's Node 3.

The flight will last thirteen days and includes three spacewalks to replace experiments outside the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory, install a new ammonia storage tank and return the used one. Ammonia is needed to move excess heat from inside the station to the radiators located outside.

The mission marks the start of the transition from assembling the space station to using it for continuous scientific research.

Assembly and maintenance activities have dominated the available time for crew work. As completion nears, additional facilities and the crew members to operate them will enable a measured increase in time devoted to research as a national and multinational orbiting laboratory.

Discovery's first landing opportunity at Kennedy is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10th. This mission is the 37th mission for Discovery, and the fourth this year.

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