Space shuttle Discovery, with its seven-member crew, launched at 11:59 p.m. US EDT Friday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after two aborted attempts to get the aging space orbiter off the ground.
Discovery is carrying the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, a pressurized “moving van” that will be temporarily installed to the station. According to NASA, the module will deliver storage racks; materials and fluids science racks; a freezer to store research samples; a new sleeping compartment; an air purification system. Also on board is the now famous Colbert treadmill, named after Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert.
The 13-day flight will include three spacewalks to replace experiments outside the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory, install a new ammonia storage tank and return the used one. Ammonia is needed to move excess heat from inside the station to the radiators located outside.
The Shuttle will rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station Sunday.
Live Discovery STS-128 coverage from Spacevidcst as follows (if you’re not on the website, click thru to watch.)