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Space shuttle Discovery

About Space shuttle Discovery

Space shuttle Discovery lifted off from NASA Kennedy Space Center at 7:43 p.m. EDT on March 15, 2009 to deliver the final set of power-generating solar array wings and a new crew member to the International Space Station. Commander Lee Archambault is joined on STS-119 by Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold, John Phillips and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will replace space station crew member Sandra Magnus, who has been aboard the station for more than four months. He will return to Earth during the next station shuttle mission, STS-127, targeted to launch in June 2009.

The shuttle crew boarded the station on March 17, 2009 on their 8-day visit and began making preparation to make the ISS ready for larger crew.

On March 18, 2009, the crew began the two-day high-priority girder work. The job will culminate with the installation of two new solar wings at the orbiting outpost.

On March 25, 2009, the Space shutting undocked from the ISS after completing their 8-day visit to the lab and installing the new solar power panels. The crew also installed the urine recycler that converts astronaut's urine, sweat, condensation from the outpost's atmosphere and other wastewater back into pure water for drinking, food preparation and other uses. The shuttle is bringing back blood and biological samples for experiments on Earth.

NASA delayed the launch of Discovery to allow engineers more time to develop plans for resolving an issue with a valve in the shuttles main propulsion system. The launch is targeted for no earlier than 11:59 p.m. Friday, August 28

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