Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Discovery launch delayed by storms

The launch of Space shuttle Discovery has been delayed by bad weather. Storms in the area of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida began to dissipate around 30 minutes prior to launch. However it was not enough for NASA officials to give an all clear. With lightning storms less than five miles from the launch pad and low cloud hanging overhead the mission will be postponed until Wednesday at 01:10 ET [05:10 GMT]. The mission was intended to deliver the Leonardo supply module to the International Space Station [ISS]. The mission, code named STS-128, was also due take a new crew member to the station, Nicole Stott.

Discovery, commanded by veteran astronaut Rick "C.J." Sturckow, is also due to deliver refrigerator-sized racks full of equipment, including the COLBERT treadmill, an exercise machine named after US comedian Stephen Colbert.

When Discovery finally takes off Stott will take the place of Tim Kopra, who moved into the ISS during STS-127. Pilot Kevin Ford and Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez, John "Danny" Olivas and Sweden's Christer Fuglesang also complement the crew.

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