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August 30, 2009

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Discovery blasts off on 13-day tour

THE US space shuttle Discovery blasted off seconds before midnight on Friday, beginning a 13-day mission to deliver food, supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station.
After two thwarted launch attempts this week due to bad weather and a suspect fuel valve sensor, the shuttle lifted off its seaside launch pad, shattering the dead-of-night calm with a thundering roar and a brilliant burst of flame that temporarily turned the Florida sky as bright as day.
Aboard the shuttle were four veteran astronauts and three rookie fliers, including 46-year-old Nicole Stott, who will be left behind on the space station to serve as one of its flight engineers. The shuttle is expected to reach the station tonight.


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