Tue, March 24, 2009
Sci-Tech > Science > NASA's Discovery Mission STS-119

Space shuttle Discovery readies for Feb. launch

2009-01-15 05:20:53 GMT2009-01-15 13:20:53 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Space shuttle Discovery atop the crawler transporter nears the end of it's 3.4 mile journey to pad 39A to prepare for the next launch at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009. Discovery is scheduled to launch on Feb. 12. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Space shuttle Discovery makes it's 3.4 mile journey atop the crawler transporter to pad 39A to prepare for the next launch at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009. Discovery is scheduled to launch on Feb. 12. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Space shuttle Discovery nears the end of it's 3.4 mile journey atop the crawler transporter to pad 39A to prepare for the next launch at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009. Discovery is scheduled to launch on Feb. 12. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

NASA has moved space shuttle Discovery to its launch pad for a February supply run to the international space station.

Discovery moved out to the pad Wednesday. Seven astronauts are scheduled to blast off around sunrise Feb. 12 with the space station's final set of solar wings. The crew will conduct four spacewalks to hook up the new equipment and perform maintenance.

The space shuttle also will deliver, if it's ready, a machine designed to turn astronauts' urine into safe drinking water. A similar processor that went up in November is not working, and bringing it home could help engineers understand what's wrong.

One of Discovery's crew — Koichi Wakata — will replace an astronaut on the orbiting outpost and become the first Japanese to live up there.

(Agencies)

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