Countdown to Start Sunday for Targeted Launch Wednesday

NASA Test Director Jeff Spaulding said this morning the launch team is confident that repairs to quick-disconnect fittings in the system used to pressurize space shuttle Discovery’s right Orbital Maneuvering System rocket engine will allow the shuttle to launch Wednesday, Nov. 3. The targeted launch time is 3:52 p.m.

"Right now we’re in a good path to get there," Spaulding said.

The shuttle has until Sunday, Nov. 7, to launch in the current window, Spaulding said. Discovery is going to the International Space Station on mission STS-133. It will attach the Permanent Multipurpose Module, packed with supplies, equipment experiments and Robonaut 2, to the station. The crew of six astronauts will conduct two spacewalks during the 11-day mission.

The weather forecast for a launch Wednesday calls for 70 percent chance of acceptable conditions, according to Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters. The main concerns are low clouds and the possibility of rain within 20 miles of the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the shuttle’s launch and landing site.