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Discovery lifts off
Posted: Fri, Aug 10, 2001, 7:24 PM ET (2324 GMT)
STS-105 launch (NASA/KSC) The space shuttle Discovery lifted off Friday afternoon on mission STS-105, leaving five minutes early to avoid approaching thunderstorms. Discovery lifted off at 5:10:14 pm EDT (2110:14 GMT) from Pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center after a routine countdown; the shuttle entered orbit without incident. Launch controllers moved the launch time up five minutes from the middle to the beginning of a ten-minute launch window, trading away some fuel efficiency in order to get off the ground before afternoon thunderstorms could ground the shuttle. The shuttle is scheduled to dock with ISS Sunday at 2:38 pm EDT (1838 GMT) for an eight-day stay. The main purpose of the STS-105 mission is to deliver the three-man Expedition Three crew to the station and return the Expedition Two crew currently on ISS to Earth. Two spacewalks are also planned on the mission to install logistical equipment and prepare the station for future assembly work.
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