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Shuttle Races Toward Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - With its launch plume glowing pink,
peach and golden against a setting sun, space shuttle Discovery has
soared into orbit.
It's headed toward the international space station for a Tuesday
arrival, carrying one last set of solar wings and some other
equipment needed to allow the station crew to double to six.
Launch delays and the need to be out by the time a Russian ship
arrives have cut the mission short, with four scheduled spacewalks
pared to three.
The crew will also deliver supplies and hardware, most notably
replacing a broken machine that turns urine into drinking water.
A hydrogen leak prevented Discovery from lifting off Wednesday
and, before that, problems with hydrogen valves kept the shuttle
grounded for weeks in February.
The only other oddity was a fruit bat on the back of Discovery's
fuel tank that posed no debris threat to the shuttle and almost
certainly perished.


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