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Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off! (FD1)

Last Updated: June 1, 2008

Launch of Discovery (Image credit: NASA)

Today, the Space Shuttle Discovery successfully lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:02 p.m. May 31, 2008 EDT (6:02 a.m. June 1, 2008 JST) delivering the Japanese Experiment Module, Kibo's Pressurized Module (PM) and Kibo's robotic arm, the Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS). Aboard Discovery are JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and his six fellow crewmates.

Several pieces of foam from the External Tank (ET) falling off was seen during the ascent; however, as these came off at relatively later in the ascent and would lack energy to do much damage, according to NASA. They will continue analyzing the imagery and video taken during launch and look into possible impact of the incident.

After launch, electric supply from the shuttle for the heater of Kibo Pressurized Module in the payload bay began, in order to avoid the temperature of equipments in it falls below acceptable range.

Meanwhile, Hoshide finished some tasks including configuration the TV camera in the Discovery. The crew, including Hoshide went to sleep at 11:02 p.m. May 31, 2008 EDT (12:02 p.m. June 1, 2008 JST), after dinner, and 6 hours after launch. They are scheduled to wake up at 7:02 a.m. June 1, 2008 EDT (8:02 p.m. June 1, 2008 JST).

This is the 123rd space shuttle mission, and 35th mission for the Discovery.

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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