NASA Will Attempt Space Shuttle Launch On Monday

July 7, 2008 - 8:19 PM

(CNSNews.com) - NASA will attempt again on Monday night to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery as the historic 100th flight of the Space Shuttle program from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Discovery is scheduled for an 11-day mission that will deliver a series of major hardware components to the International Space Station.

Launch had been scheduled for last Thursday, but it was postponed when technicians discovered a "potential bolt" problem. They also discovered a suspect suppression valve in Discovery's aft engine compartment that needed replacement. Technicians discovered the valve exhibited what they called "sluggish" characteristics during a countdown test.

Discovery will carry a crew of seven astronauts on a mission that will attach two components to the International Space Station. One component contains gyroscope devices that will become the space station's "sense of balance." Another component contains Ku-Band communications equipment.

Four space walks are planned during this mission. During the walks, the Discovery crew will attach the components using a robotic arm and then hook up electrical lines, computer connections and any other work that needs to be done, according to NASA Space Shuttle mission officials.

The seven astronauts will be under the command of US Air Force Colonel Brian Duffy. He will be making his fourth flight into space. He'll be joined on the forward flight deck by Pilot Pam Melroy, a US Air Force Colonel who will be making her first flight into space as the third female Space Shuttle pilot in history. She follows in the footsteps of Eileen Colllins and Susan Kilrain.

Mission specialists on this flight are: Michael Lopez-Alegria, Peter "Jeff" Wisoff, Leroy Chiao, William McArthur, Jr and Koichi Wakata.