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NASA Gives "Go" for Space Shuttle Launch on Oct. 23


> Oct. 16, 2007
> Katherine Trinidad
> Headquarters, Washington
> 202-358-3749
> katherine.trinidad@nasa.gov
> George Diller
> Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
> 321-867-2468
> george.h.diller@nasa.gov
> CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA senior managers Tuesday completed a 
> detailed review of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight and 
> selected Oct. 23 as the official launch date. Commander Pam Melroy 
> and her six crewmates are scheduled to lift off at 11:38 a.m. EDT on 
> the STS-120 mission to the International Space Station.
> Tuesday's meeting included a discussion about concerns raised by the 
> NASA Engineering and Safety Center regarding the reinforced carbon 
> carbon on three of Discovery's wing leading edge panels. This issue 
> initially was brought before the Space Shuttle Program during a 
> two-day, preliminary review held last week to assess preparations for 
> Discovery's mission.
> "After a thorough discussion and review of all current engineering 
> analysis, we have determined that Discovery's panels do not need to 
> be replaced before the mission," said Associate Administrator for 
> Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier, who chaired Tuesday's meeting. 
> During the shuttle's 120th mission, the shuttle and station crews will 
> work with flight controllers at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, 
> to add a module to the station that will serve as a port for 
> installing future international laboratories. The Harmony module will 
> be the first expansion of the living and working space on the station 
> since 2001. The upcoming mission also will move the first set of 
> solar arrays installed on the station to a permanent location on the 
> complex and redeploy them.
> The 14-day mission includes five spacewalks - four by shuttle crew 
> members and one by the station's Expedition 16 crew. Discovery is 
> expected to complete its mission and return home at 4:47 a.m. EST on 
> Nov. 6.
> Joining Commander Melroy on STS-120 will be Pilot George Zamka and 
> mission specialists Scott Parazynski, Stephanie Wilson, Doug 
> Wheelock, Daniel Tani and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency. 
> Tani will remain aboard the station and return with the STS-122 crew, 
> which is targeted to launch Dec. 6. Current Flight Engineer Clayton 
> Anderson will return to Earth on Discovery after nearly five months 
> on the station.
> For more information about the STS-120 mission, including images and 
> interviews with the crew, visit:
> www.nasa.gov/shuttle 
> -end-
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