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October 23, 2007

Shuttle Launch

The space shuttle launch this morning seems to have gone off with only minor hitches:

Space shuttle Discovery and a crew of seven rocketed away Tuesday in pursuit of the International Space Station, where a formidable construction job awaits them.

Discovery blasted off at 11:38 a.m., carrying up a giant Tinkertoy-type link that must be installed at the space station before European and Japanese laboratories can arrive.

Despite a forecast calling for rain right at launch time, the weather ended up cooperating. And a chunk of ice on plumbing between the external fuel tank and Discovery -- 4 inches by 1 1/2 inches -- was deemed too small by NASA to pose a serious launch hazard. It appeared to be melting as the countdown entered its final minutes.

Launch director Mike Leinbach wished the crew good luck and Godspeed just before liftoff.

"We're ready to take Harmony to her new home," replied commander Pamela Melroy, referring to the new space station compartment aboard Discovery.

If you'd like to see the Nasa video of the shuttle launch it can be found here. You might have to use one of thet mirror sites as traffic gets very heavy on shuttle launch days.

October 23, 2007 in Space | Permalink

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