Thursday, February 18, 2010

Next Shuttle launch Set for April 5

NASA is targeting the launch of Discovery on its next shuttle mission to the International Space Station for April 5, a day after a new crew is scheduled to arrive at the outpost aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Discovery and seven astronauts would blast off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center at 6:27 a.m. that day, the middle of a 10-minute, predawn opportunity to put the shuttle on course for a two-day trip to the station.

Discovery had been set to launch March 18. But unusually cold weather, which can damage shuttle steering thrusters, has prevented NASA from moving the orbiter from its processing hangar to the Vehicle Assembly Building.