U.S. space shuttle Discovery, with six astronauts on board will be launched into space for the last time, on November 1, to International Space Station (ISS), announced specialists from NASA.
This decision was taken following a meeting of specialists from the U.S. Kennedy Space Center, who wanted to know if the shuttle and its crew are ready for a launch from Florida on November 1st, at 20.40 GMT.
“We are certainly ready for this launch,” said mission director, Mike Leinbach.
The only uncertainty, as always, is linked to weather conditions the day of release.
This will be the fourth and also the last flight of Discovery, the oldest shuttle from U.S. fleet which has 39 accomplished space missions.
The six astronauts on Discovery – who include a woman – must deliver within 11 days of this mission Leonardo multifunction module, adapted to be permanently attached to the ISS, in order to provide additional storage volume. The module will allow for scientific experiments aboard the ISS, in fluid physics, materials science, biology and biotechnology.
Discovery will carry on board the ISS and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot that will go into space and will occupy a permanent seat on board the orbital outpost.
The final countdown for the launch will begin on Friday at 19:00 GMT, a day before the arrival of the six crew members at Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Started in 1998, ISS is a space project worth 100 billion dollars, mainly financed by the United States of America and other 16 partner countries.