Monday, April 5, 2010

Space Shuttle Discovery STS-131 launches to the International SpaceStation

Credit: NASA

STS-131 (ISS assembly flight 19A) launched this morning from the Kennedy Space Center enroute to the International Space Station. This mission will be the second to last flight for Space Shuttle Discovery. The primary payload for this mission is a Multi-Purpose Logistices Module loaded with supplies and equipment for the station. The crew of Discovery will also replace an ammonia tank assembly outside the station and return a Lightweight Adapter Plate Asseembly located on the Columbus module. Discovery's crew consists of Alan Poindexter (Commander), James Dutton (Pilot), Richard Mastracchio (MS1), Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger (MS2), Stephanie Wilson (MS3), Naoko Yamazaki (MS4) from JAXA, and Clayton Anderson (MS5). There are at least 3 spacewalks planned for this mission.

This will be the 162nd manned spaceflight for the United States, the 131st shuttle mission since STS-1 and the 38th flight for Discovery.

To the crew of STS-131: best wishes for a successful flight and a safe return home.

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