- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 15, 2009


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — Space shuttle Discovery is rocketing toward the international space station after more than a month of delays.

The space shuttle and its crew of seven blasted off Sunday just as the sun was setting. The shuttle is carrying a final set of solar wings for the space station that the astronauts will install.

NASA is thrilled to see Discovery finally on its way. A hydrogen leak Wednesday scrapped the first launch attempt. Before that, valve concerns kept postponing the flight that was originally scheduled to launch in mid-February.

Because of the delays, the mission has been shortened by a day and one of four spacewalks has been dropped. That’s because Discovery needs to be gone from the space station before a Russian rocket lifts off to put a fresh crew at the space station March 26.

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