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Discovery set to lift off on Feb 12


Flooding the night sky with its blazing light, Space Shuttle Discovery leaps toward the sky from Launch Pad 39B on mission STS-116 at 8:47:35 p.m. EST on Dec. 9, 2006. This is Discovery's 33rd mission and the first night launch since 2003.

WASHINGTON (BNS): NASA's space shuttle Discoveryís STS-119 mission to the International Space Station is scheduled to lift off at 7:32 am EST on February 12.

Lee Archambault will lead a crew of seven, along with Pilot Tony Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata to the ISS. Meanwhile, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the STS-119 mission astronauts are in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory practicing techniques for performing the missionís fourth spacewalk.

According to NASA officials the astronauts will fly to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a full-dress rehearsal called the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT, scheduled for January 19-21. The officials said that the astronauts will check out the spacecraft and payload and also try on their custom-made flight suits and review safety procedures.

In the meantime, Discovery has begun its journey to Launch Pad 39A at 4 am EST Wednesday at Kennedy Space Center. The crawler-transporter with the shuttle stack on board will take about six hours to make the 3.4-mile journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The mission payload, consisting of the S6 truss segment and US solar arrays which was delivered to the pad earlier in the week, was transferred to the padís change out room.

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