Archive - Mar 15, 2009 - Story
Sun, 15 Mar 2009 06:44:01 PM CDT
Space shuttle Discovery has cleared the launch tower! It is tracing a brilliant arc of white and orange flames through the dusky-night sky on its way to orbit.
The twin solid rocket boosters will burnout shortly and fall away as Discovery continues its climb powered by its three main engines. Once in orbit, it will take Discovery about two days to catch up to the International Space Station.
The astronauts of STS-119 are to install the last major set of solar arrays to the orbiting laboratory complex during the mission.
Japan's Koichi Wakata also will switch from the shuttle to the station crew and current station crew member Sandra Magnus will become a member of the Discovery crew.