CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Mission managers today gave space shuttle Discovery a go for Thursday's planned launch on STS-133.
The 39th flight of the orbiter is set to lift off from Kennedy Space Center at 4:50 p.m. EST. This is the final flight of Discovery, the oldest of the three remaining ships in the space shuttle fleet.
There's an 80 percent chance of good weather and no significant technical hurdles in the way. The countdown clock is in the middle of a 13-plus-hour hold at T-11 hours that will begin again just after midnight Thursday.
External fuel tanking will begin at 7:25 a.m. Thursday and continue for about three hours. The astronauts will make their way to the launch pad at 1:30 p.m. The mission was originally slated to launch back in November, but cracks in the external fuel tank forced repairs and the four-month delay.
"Discovery looks like she'll fly this time," said Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach.
Discovery will take six astronauts, thousands of pounds of supplies and Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot, up to the International Space Station. Discovery has already logged close to 143 million miles making her the most traveled reusable spacecraft.
"The last flight of all three vehicles is going to be emotional for all of us," Leinbach said. "I think the emotion will really hit us on the runway when the mission is complete."
"We feel like we're doing something special for the country and really the world...and it's coming to an end, and it's tough."
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