NASA launch countdown to begin Saturday

October 18, 2007

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced the final schedule of events in preparation for next week's launch of space shuttle Discovery.

The U.S. space agency said it will begin the countdown for Tuesday's launch of Discovery and its mission to the International Space Station at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday, starting at the T-minus-43-hour mark.

The STS-120 crew was to arrive at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at midday Friday.

Cmdr. Pam Melroy and her six crew mates are scheduled to lift off Tuesday at 11:38 a.m. EDT on a 14-day mission that will include five spacewalks -- four by shuttle crew members and one by the space station's Expedition 16 crew.

Discovery is expected to complete its mission and return to Earth at 4:47 a.m. EST Nov. 6.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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