NASA green lights April 5 launch of Discovery
The US space agency NASA gave its thumbs up for the April 5 launch of the shuttle Discovery, which will take a seven-member crew, including a Japanese astronaut, to the International Space Station (ISS).
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration made its announcement after an all-day Flight Readiness Review meeting, who found "no unresolved issues that would prevent Discovery and crew from flying a safe and successful mission."
Barring unforeseen circumstances and unfavorable weather, Discovery should blast off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral on April 5, at 6:21 am (1021 GMT).
Discovery's flight will be the second shuttle mission of the year and fourth to last before the shuttle program shuts down for good, as expected, at the end of 2010.
US space missions to the ISS will be flown on Russian Soyuz spacecraft until a replacement for the shuttle -- the Ares 1 rocket and its Orion capsule -- is operational in 2015.
Discovery's 13-day mission will be NASA's 34th to build and equip the orbiting space station, which is near completion.
(c) 2010 AFP