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STS-121 - STATUS 8:30AM -1 JULY 2006


*8:30 a.m. Status Update*
NASA launch managers are currently working an issue with the thruster 
heater in the left orbital maneuvering system pod and believe there is 
plenty of time to work the issue.

The loading of Discovery's orange external tank with 500,000 gallons of 
liquid oxygen and hydrogen began at approximately 6 a.m. EDT today. The 
"topping off" of propellants into the tank will continue until 
Discovery's launch. The chance of weather preventing the launch lowered 
from 60 percent to 40 percent.

The crew of space shuttle Discovery will continue to test new equipment 
and procedures that increase the safety of space shuttles during the 
STS-121 mission to the International Space Station. It also will perform 
maintenance on the space station and deliver more supplies and cargo for 
future station expansion.

This mission is to carry on analysis of safety improvements that debuted 
on the Return to Flight mission, STS-114, and build upon those tests.

NASA TV coverage of the launch will begin at 10 a.m. EDT and live launch 
countdown coverage from NASA's Launch Blog begins at 10 a.m., July 1.
+ NASA Launch Blog 

NASA TV will broadcast a Post-launch News Conference with senior 
managers Saturday, about an hour after launch.
+ Watch NASA TV <http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html>
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