Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Discovery is in Orbit

The STS-120 mission of the space shuttle Discovery is off to the International Space Station after a smooth and safe launch. Concerns about the outer layer of some of the carbon-fiber heat-resistant panels were examined by NASA leadership, but it was decided the mission could safely proceed on schedule. During the countdown itself, a patch of ice near the hydrogen umbilical on the external tank was examined and discarded as a possible hazard. This link provides a blog written as the countdown was in progress.
NASA notes: "The STS-120 mission will mark the first time females have been in command of both the space shuttle and the International Space Station at the same time. Space shuttle Discovery is being commanded by Pam Melroy, and Peggy Whitson is currently serving as the station's commander."

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