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STS-133: Launch Day 3

Today is the third launch attempt for Shuttle Discovery, on her last flight ever. Weather conditions are 80%-90% Go, and the Shuttle is fueled up for this afternoon's liftoff. NASA reports:

Launch Day for Discovery

Discovery on the launch pad.
Image above: Space shuttle Discovery stands on the launch pad Thursday morning for liftoff. A crawler-transporter is carrying the shuttle stack. Photo credit: NASA TV
› Larger image

Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to begin an 11-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 4:50 p.m. EST today from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-133 mission is Discovery's final scheduled flight.

The six astronauts for the mission will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module, or PMM, to the station. The PMM was converted from the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo and will provide additional storage for the station crew. Experiments in such fields as fluid physics, materials science, biology and biotechnology may be conducted inside the module.

Today's Countdown Highlights

10:25 a.m. Countdown enters a 2-hour, 30-minute built-in hold at the T-3 hour mark; fueling is complete and goes into stable replenish
10:55 a.m. Astronauts have a photo opportunity in crew quarters (not broadcast on NASA TV)
11:00 a.m. The Ascent Team of flight controllers is on console in Mission Control, Houston
11:30 a.m. NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE BEGINS
12:20 p.m. The astronauts conduct a weather briefing with Flight Director Richard Jones and the Ascent Team of flight controllers in Mission Control, Houston
12:30 p.m. The astronauts suit up for launch
12:55 p.m. Countdown resumes at the T-3 hour mark
1:00 p.m. The astronauts depart their crew quarters for Launch Pad 39-A
1:30 p.m. The astronauts arrive at Launch Pad 39-A and begin to board Discovery
2:45 p.m. Discovery’s hatch is closed and latched for launch
3:35 p.m. Countdown enters a 10-minute built-in hold at the T-20 minute mark
3:45 p.m. Countdown resumes at the T-20 minute mark
3:56 p.m. Countdown enters a 40-minute built-in hold at the T-9 minute mark; the MMT conducts its final poll for a “go-no go” for the launch of Discovery (This hold will be adjusted by about 5 additional minutes to become a 45-minute built-in hold designed to meet the preferred in-plane launch time of 4:50:19pm EST)
4:41 p.m. Countdown resumes at the T-9 minute mark
4:45 p.m. APU start
4:50:19pm LAUNCH OF DISCOVERY ON THE STS-133 MISSION
4:58:49 p.m. Main Engine Cut-Off

Additional STS-133 Resources
› Countdown highlights
› Launch Week Events
› STS-133 Press Kit (11.4 Mb PDF)
› STS-133 Mission Summary (778 Kb PDF)
› STS-133 Crew
› Discovery facts (351 Kb PDF)
› Discovery's Career in Photos
› Discovery Retrospective
› Tanking Test Details (Dec. 17, 2010)

› Orbiter Status Updates

Live HD coverage at SpaceVidCast. Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Preflight pics are up at JSC and Sentinel. Launch blog at NASA. Pics and video at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

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