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Gas Tank Filling Up For Shuttle Liftoff

24 Aug 2009, 20:41 UTC
Gas Tank Filling Up For Shuttle Liftoff
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NASA has begun the three-plus hour operation to fill up shuttle Discovery's fuel tank for launch in the wee hours. Liftoff is set for 1:36 a.m. EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The shuttle is...

NASA has begun the three-plus hour operation to fill up shuttle Discovery's fuel tank for launch in the wee hours. Liftoff is set for 1:36 a.m. EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The shuttle is filled with a cargo pod holding more than seven tons of science gear, supplies and spare parts for the International Space Station, including a second treadmill named after Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert. Discovery's six-man, one-woman crew, headed by three-time flier Rick Sturckow, is scheduled to arrive at the launch pad shortly after 10 p.m. tonight. Already aboard are eight mice that will be taking up residence on the station for the next few months. Four of the critters have been genetically altered for an experiment scientists hope will give them fresh insights into why astronauts lose bone mass during long-duration stays in the gravity-free world of space. The research also may lead to more effective treatments for osteoporosis, a bone-destroying disease that afflicts millions of people ...

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