Discovery Ready For Takeoff
All systems are go
Space Shuttle Discoveryhas entered the final phase before the May 31 launch, with technicians workingon the “finishing touches” at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. There have been noissues reported so far, and the final countdown for the Sunday launch hasalready began.
Discovery’sSTS-124 mission is one of three flights to launch components of the JapanAerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory and install the Kibo JapanesePressurized Module (JPM) and its remote manipulator system (RMS) on theInternational Space Station.
NASA’s TestDirector Jeff Spaulding said that after all the hard work and preparation, boththe shuttle and its crew are ready for the flight. Tomorrow looks like a goodday for launch, weather predictions say, and all systems are in great shape.
astronaut Akihiko Hoshide was set to be among the crew of seven
launching later Saturday on the shuttle Discovery, with good weather
Hoshide will help install the largest single module ever on the
International Space Station - the long-awaited centrepiece of Japan's
Kibo laboratory, named for 'hope' in Japanese.
When it blasts into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida, about 2102
GMT, Discovery will also be carrying the main part of Kibo, formally
known as the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).