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Space shuttle Discovery readies for Feb. launch

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[January 15, 2009]  CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA has moved space shuttle Discovery to its launch pad for a February supply run to the international space station.

Discovery moved out to the pad Wednesday. Seven astronauts are scheduled to blast off around sunrise Feb. 12 with the space station's final set of solar wings. The crew will conduct four spacewalks to hook up the new equipment and perform maintenance.

The space shuttle also will deliver, if it's ready, a machine designed to turn astronauts' urine into safe drinking water. A similar processor that went up in November is not working, and bringing it home could help engineers understand what's wrong.

One of Discovery's crew -- Koichi Wakata -- will replace an astronaut on the orbiting outpost and become the first Japanese to live up there.


On the Net:

NASA: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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