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Space Shuttle Discovery Ready for Space



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

*Space Shuttle Discovery Ready for Space
23 October 2007
*
With a crucial space station module tucked into its cargo bay and fuel 
flowing into its giant external tank, space shuttle Discovery is taking 
its final steps before launch later this morning from NASA's Kennedy 
Space Center in Florida.

Weather is the main concern leading up to launch. The forecast calls for 
a 40 percent chance of acceptable conditions at the 11:38 a.m. EDT 
launch time.

Space shuttle Discovery at Launch Pad 39A.Image Above: Workers retracted 
the Rotating Service Structure from around space shuttle Discovery in 
preparation for today's launch. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
+ View larger image 
<http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/170419main_rssrollbacklrge.jpg>

The shuttle and a crew of seven astronauts led by commander Pamela 
Melroy are to spend two weeks in orbit attaching the Italian-built 
Harmony module to the International Space Station and making other 
changes to the orbiting laboratory.

The work begins in earnest with liftoff. No technical issues are being 
reported.

Some 500,000 gallons of supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen now 
is flowing into the external fuel tank. The chemicals will be channeled 
into Discovery's three main engines during launch to help push Discovery 
into orbit.

*Mission Information*
+ STS-120 Mission Overview 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts120/index.html>
+ Harmony Node 2 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/behindscenes/harmony_payload.html> 

+ Space Shuttle Discovery 
<http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/orbiters/discovery-info.html>
----
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