Space shuttle Discovery readies for February launch


Space shuttle Discovery atop the crawler transporter makes it's nearly four mile journey to pad 39A to prepare for the next launch at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009. Discovery is scheduled to launch on Feb. 12.

John Raoux/The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 1:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 1:10 p.m.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. 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.

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