Discovery Blasts Off With Crew of 7

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2009 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Space shuttle Discovery is rocketing toward the international space station after more than a month of delays, the AP reports. The space shuttle and its crew of seven blasted off today just as the sun was setting. The shuttle is carrying a final set of solar wings for the space station that the astronauts will install.

NASA is thrilled to see Discovery finally on its way. A hydrogen leak Wednesday scrapped the first launch attempt. Before that, valve concerns kept postponing the flight that was originally scheduled to launch in mid-February. Because of the delays, the mission has been shortened by a day and one of four spacewalks has been dropped—to make room for Russians arriving at the ISS later this month.