March 28th, 2010
02:48 AM ET

Space shuttle Discovery set for launch April 5

Space Shuttle Discovery will launch April 5 on one of the last remaining shuttle flights to the International Space Station, mission managers said Sunday.

NASA managers said concerns over potential valve leaks had been settled and the shuttle was considered ready for the mission.

Discovery will blast off at 6:21 a.m. ET, according to NASA. The 13-day mission will provide the international space station with eight tons of science equipment and cargo, NASA said.

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soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Concerned

    Ya let the US stop all manned space flight.
    That way China can ramp up their manned space flights and finish development of a nuclear warhead delivery system that will survive reentry.
    Good idea guys.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Thorny

    A few corrections to some misrepresentations posted earlier...

    – The Apollo and Saturn rocket plans were not destoyed by NASA at the beginning of the Shuttle program. This is probably a misunderstanding of reports that the blueprints were destroyed. Most of the paper plans were in fact destroyed, but the plans were retained on microfilm and are still available. This is how, for example, the Saturn J-2 engine was being revived for Constellation.

    – Burt Rutan's SpaceShipTwo is not a Shuttle replacement, as it is not capable of achieving orbit. Even its proposed successor, SpaceShipThree will not be an orbital vehicle, those plans having recently been scaled-back.

    – X-37 is not a Shuttle replacement. It is too small, with a cargo bay only 4×7 ft. (It will fly under the nosecone of an Atlas rocket.)

    – Columbia would not have been saved had it been built of titanium rather than aerospace. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board found that Columbia would only have survived about 15-20 seconds longer, not enough of a difference to save the ship and crew.

    – Complaints that the Space Station has produced no useful science to date ignores the fact that it was not complete (or nearly so) until this year. It did not receive its first dedicated laboratories until 2008. Even so, Shuttle and Space Station research has led to a potential vaccine for salmonella.

    March 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Thorny

    "Columbia would not have been saved had it been built of titanium rather than aerospace."

    That should have read "aerospace aluminum".

    March 29, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike H.

    How is it that between 30 and 50 years ago our nation's leaders from the local to the national levels were able to secure funding for interstate highways, space exploration, social programs and a host of other services without breaking the bank? In the last 20 years, except toward the end of the Clinton administration, we have seen very poor fiscal leadership on almost every level within the US. Americans have grown diverse to the point of waving foreign flags at soccer matches and labeling themselves as (put country name here)-American. We have declared ourselves the policemen of the world yet we have lost the will to police ourselves. The space program was once a source of pride. Now? It's seen as a waste of money. Oh well. It's all good as long as we keep buying cheaply made crap from China, Japanese and German made luxury cars, and tying our entire economy to manipulated financial markets rather than to a manufacturing base....

    March 31, 2010 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. xfiler93

    Well, thanks to Obama the Messiah....USA will be like a hitchhiker getting to low earth orbit. We put men on the moon and now we just chunk our lead in space exploration right down the toilet. JFK must be spinning in his grave.

    March 31, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Keith

    It is sad we can't blame Obama for killing the program as some readers pointed out, but we can blame him on where we go from here, or better put where we don't go from here. The spin off benefits that have come out of the space progam are uncalcuable both in saving lives and to our economy. Just try to imagine where we would be without computers.

    I about fell out of my chair when I read the commnet from one ready who said "Nobody seems to get it – this country is BROKE. There is no more money. Eight years of Republican control (including two unjustified wars) has left this country in total economic ruin."

    Are you serious? lol In just little over 1 year of Obama we have committed to more spending then we did in the last 8 years combined... and you're going to blame the Republicans??? You need to wake up.

    March 31, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Richy

    This has nothing to do with the republicans before obama it all started with clinton and he had this country in so bad of shape that i dont think anyone will ever be ever to get us out of it.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sally (Crawford) Nill

    I understand that James Dutton is heading up this mission. I knew his dad when he was on the campus at the University of Oregon. I was a Kappa and just down the street from Jim. He is going to take some of the UofO memorabilia with him and will bring it back on the return trip! Good luck with the mission!!!

    April 4, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anthony Adams

    The space program fell into being "unfunded" by the Bush adminstration who thought the money would be better spent on the "sars" in Afghanistan and Iraq. That was the Bush priority and deemed more valuable to the world than the gains made by our space program. Sad indeed.

    April 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Molly Moore

    microwave ovens can cook your food very fast, i love these ovens"`'

    October 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
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    November 8, 2011 at 5:41 am | Report abuse |
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    June 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
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