After many hours of meetings at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA’s top officials unanimously approved the launch of space shuttle Discovery, which will be held next Thursday. NASA managers decided on Feb. 18 during the analysis of mission readiness, where they discussed the current state of the Discovery, International Space Station, and astronauts who will accompany the shuttle during its 39-second and last flight. After the meeting, NASA officially set the date and time shuttle launch: February 24, at 4:50 pm EST. “The command of the mission has done just a great job,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations. Discovery will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral on the same day that an automated cargo ship of the European Space Agency’s ATV-2 is to dock to the ISS.
Originally, NASA officials planned to hold the launch Discovery on a single day – until February 25. But during the last meeting, they decided that the date change shuttle launch is not necessary. The mission of Discovery, STS-133, a 11-day mission to deliver to the ISS humanoid robot and a new storage unit. The mission has been postponed for several months because of problems the fuel tank. This will be the final flight of the ship Discovery, before NASA will roll Space Shuttle program.