NASA sets launch date for space shuttle Discovery mission - Feb 24

Saturday, February 19, 2011

WASHINGTON - NASA has announced the launch of space shuttle Discovery yet again - the shuttle will begin an 11-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 4:50 p.m. EST on Thursday, Feb. 24, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Senior NASA and contractor managers said the shuttle and station’s equipment, support systems and personnel are ready.

The six astronauts for the mission will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) to the station. Experiments in such fields as fluid physics, materials science, biology and biotechnology may be conducted inside the module.

The PMM will also carry Robonaut 2, the first human-like robot in space, which will reside permanently in space.

The flight will also deliver critical spare parts and the Express Logistics Carrier, an external platform that holds large equipment.

STS-133 Commander Steve Lindsey and his crew are scheduled to arrive at Kennedy on Sunday, Feb. 20, for final launch preparations. Joining Lindsey are Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott. Bowen and Drew will conduct two spacewalks to install new components and perform maintenance.

STS-133 is the first mission planned for 2011. It is Discovery’s 39th flight and 35th shuttle mission to the station. (ANI)

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