NASA Discovery Launch Set for April 5

NASA says all systems are currently go for a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. The Discovery space shuttle is expected to blast off at 6:21 a.m. ET.

Prospects are good for the anticipated April 5 launch of the space shuttle Discovery on its trip to the ISS. At an April 2 countdown status briefing, NASA said, "Test Director Steve Payne reported that all launch preparations continue to go well as the official countdown is now under way, saying, 'We're eager to get Discovery flying on Monday morning.'"

The NASA statement continued:

""Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters also reported good news, saying that the launch-time conditions continue to be very favorable [for the 6:21 a.m. launch]. The only reason for a remaining 20 percent chance of "no-go" weather is the possibility of early morning fog. The weather would be similar if a 24-hour turnaround was necessary.""

NASA also said:

""Commander Alan Poindexter is set to lead the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery. Joining Poindexter will be Pilot Jim Dutton and Mission Specialists Rick Mastracchio, Clay Anderson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson and Naoko Yamazaki of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.Discovery will carry a multi-purpose logistics module filled withscience racks for the laboratories aboard the station. The mission hasthree planned spacewalks, with work to include replacing an ammoniatank assembly, retrieving a Japanese experiment from the station'sexterior, and switching out a rate gyro assembly on the S0 segment of the station's truss structure.""