Space shuttle Discovery and a crew of seven astronauts are beginning a 13-day mission to the International Space Station.
Discovery’s two solid rocket boosters ignited right on schedule at 6:21 a.m. EDT, sending the shuttle soaring past the launch tower at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Commander Alan Poindexter will lead the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. Discovery will deliver a multi-purpose logistics module filled with science racks to be transferred to laboratories on the International Space Station. The mission will feature three spacewalks.
Mastracchio and Anderson will conduct three six-and-a-half-hour-long spacewalks on flight days 5, 7 and 9 to replace an ammonia tank assembly, retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior and switch out a rate gyro assembly on the S0 element of the station’s truss. STS-131 is the 33rd shuttle mission to the station.
You can follow the STS-131 mission until the shuttle lands back safely to earth over at http://www.spacevidcast.com
If you don’t have a computer to hand you can still tune into Shuttle audio on reflector 9877 via IRLP / Echolink connected nodes.