The space shuttle Discovery has lifted off and reached orbit just 8.5 minutes after launch. Discovery is commanded by Rick Sturckow and has been scheduled to launch earlier, but bad weather didn’t allow it.
The mission will take 13 days and is the 30th of this kind, being dedicated to ISS maintenance, and the preparation for a new module arrival in 2010. Also they have to install a new ammonia storage tank and bring back the used one.
Discovery carries a freezer for research samples and science equipment, among other items on board.
Nicole Stott, an US astronaut is also on board of Discovery and he will remain on the International Space Station for three months, while Tim Kopra will be picked up after a six-week stay on the ISS.
Nasa will retire it’s spaceship fleet after six more flights to the ISS in 2011 and chance the ships with new ones.
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