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Countdown begins for STS-102 launch
Posted: Mon, Mar 5, 2001, 12:52 PM ET (1752 GMT)
STS-102 logo The countdown for Thursday's launch of the shuttle Discovery on mission STS-102 got underway Monday morning. Countdown clocks started running at 10:00 am EST (1500 GMT) towards a launch scheduled for 6:42 am EST (1142 GMT) Thursday. Shuttle mangers said there are no technical issues so far and there is a 70% chance of acceptable weather for the launch, with the potential for unseasonably cold weather the only concern. The primary purpose of Discovery's 12-day mission will be to exchange International Space Station crews: the shuttle will launch with the Expedition Two crew of Yuri Usachev, James Voss, and Susan Helms, and return with the station's current crew of Bill Shepherd, Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko. The mission will also carry supplies and equipment for the station in an Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module dubbed "Leonardo", the first flight of such a module. That equipment will be used to help outfit the Destiny lab module added to the station during the STS-98 mission last month.
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