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B. Alvin Drew

NASA Fueling Space Shuttle Discovery For Final Mission

NASA technicians have begun filling the space shuttle Discovery's enormous external fuel tank in preparation for her final launch later today.The roughly three-hour long fueling process, called tanking, began at 5:58 a.m. EDT (0958 GMT). It involves filling the tank with more than 500,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. This fuel will power Discovery's three main engines during liftoff and ascent into orbit.After nearly a week of delays, NASA is readying Discovery for the flight that will cap her storied 26-year spaceflying career. Discovery, NASA's oldest space shuttle still flying, is poised to launch today (Nov. 5) at 3:04 p.m. EDT (1904 GMT) from the seaside Launch Pad 39A here at NASA's Kennedy Space Center . The mission has been delayed since Monday (Nov. 1) due to minor last-minute hiccups and stormy weather that drenched the Florida spaceport yesterday.Current weather forecasts, however, show a significant improvement for today's launch. Estimates are projecting a...

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