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Discovery launches on ISS mission
Posted: Sun, Jun 1, 2008, 1:26 PM ET (1726 GMT)
STS-124: launch (NASA/KSC) The space shuttle Discovery lifted off Saturday afternoon on a mission to deliver a Japanese lab module to the International Space Station. Discovery lifted off on schedule at 5:02 pm EDT (2102 GMT) Saturday, after a virtually problem-free countdown, and entered orbit eight minutes later. The primary purpose of the STS-124 mission is to install the main component of the Japanese lab module Kibo on the station. The shuttle is scheduled to dock with the station on Monday afternoon. The shuttle crew will spend much of Sunday performing an inspection of the exterior of the orbiter, looking for any damage from the launch. Video of the launch showed several pieces of foam falling off the external tank during ascent, although shuttle managers believed the foam came off late enough during the launch that they would not pose a risk to the orbiter.
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