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9:00 p.m. - After years in training and two launch countdowns, the crew 
of Space Shuttle Discovery has reached orbit and can get down to the 
business of completing the most challenging and complex International 
Space Station mission to date. Thank you for joining our coverage 
tonight. For the latest on this and future missions, visit NASA's Space 
Shuttle Web site 

8:56 p.m. - Main engine cut-off! Commander Mark Polansky confirms a good 
separation. "Discovery, Houston, we saw a nominal MECO," Houston Flight 
told Polansky.

"You've got a lot of smiling faces up here," Polanksy responded.

8:55 p.m. - Discovery's speed 14,000 miles per hour. The vehicle is 
downrange 643 miles from the launch site.

8:54 p.m. - Discovery could now reach Istres, France on one main engine 
at this point in the ascent. Discovery's speed is 11,000 miles per hour.

8:52 p.m. - The "Press to ATO" order has been given. Discovery now could 
land on two engines if necessary. The vehicle is now 290 miles downrange 
from the Kennedy Space Center with three good engines, three good 
auxiliary power units and three good fuel cells. So far all is going 
well and Discovery will roll into a heads-up orientation shortly.

8:50 p.m. - Five minutes remaining until Main Engine Cutoff. Discovery 
is downrange 110 miles from Kennedy Space Center as it climbs to orbit 
after lighting up the Central Florida sky.

8:47 p.m. - Ten... nine... eight... we have a go for main engine 
start... five... four... three... two... one... booster ignition and 
liftoff of the Space Shuttle Discovery, lighting up the night-time sky 
as we continue building the International Space Station.
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