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Space Shuttle Discovery All Ready

Forecaster’s say the weather is 80-percent “go” for launch today.  The Space Shuttle Discovery is all set and ready for this afternoon’s launch.  Discovery is the oldest American Space Shuttle and not only will be making a return to space, but is also set to be retired when it returns to Earth.

Courtesy Bill Ingalls/NASA, Getty Images.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden spoke to CNN this morning.  Bolden expressed his thoughts on the shuttle’s retirement after its 39th and final mission today.  Discovery will be retired once it returns from its mission to the International Space Station.

Discovery is set to launch at 4:50 pm today from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  The purpose to the Discovery and its crew traveling to the ISS is to bring spare parts along with the Express Logistics Carrier-4.  The Carrier-4 is a platform lab that will be used to conduct experiments.

Courtesy of Joe Raedle, Getty Images.

Aboard Discovery this afternoon, will be six crew members who will make the eleven-day journey.  Included, in the crew, will be Steve Bowen, who will be setting a milestone with this flight.  Bowen flew on Atlantis back in May and will now become the first astronaut to fly on consecutive missions. 

Also aboard will be Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly.  There was a lot of speculation Kelly would opt not to go on the launch, but obviously his decision was one him and his wife were comfortable with.

Courtesy of Joe Raedle, Getty Images.

The launch will be televised this afternoon and most local channels will interupt their normally scheduled shows to air the launch.

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