Washington, Mar 16: Defying the protocol, NASA, the US space agency launched Discovery space shuttle on Sunday, Mar 15. NASA is yet to find out the reason for a hydrogen leak that delayed its mission earlier in the week. Discovery blasted-off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station (ISS) with a 10 minute launch window.
Discovery is on a 14-day mission and has 7 crew members, including Koichi Wakata, the first Japanese astronaut who will be the long-term resident on the space station. The crew will deliver and install the space station's fourth and final set of solar arrays, which will provide the power for it to expand. It will also provide the power necessary to fully exploit the science labs now attached to the ISS.