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ExoLance
Shuttle lifts off
Posted: Sun, Mar 15, 2009, 9:00 PM ET (0100 GMT)
STS-119: launch (NASA/KSC) The space shuttle Discovery launched Sunday evening on a mission to the International Space Station. Discovery lifted off on schedule at 7:43 pm EDT (2343 GMT), after a trouble-free countdown. The previous launch attempt on Wednesday was scrubbed by a hydrogen leak while the external tank was fueled; no leaks were detected during the fueling process today. The main purpose of the 13-day STS-119 mission is to install the final solar panel truss segment to the station. The shuttle is also bringing to the station Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who will remain on the station for four months, while current ISS crew member Sandra Magnus will return home on the shuttle.
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