Discovery Heads for Space!

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Discovery Heads for Space!
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COMMENTATOR ALLARD BEUTEL: Ten seconds. We have "go" for main engine start... seven... six... five... four... three... two... one... booster ignition, and liftoff of shuttle Discovery (send off spoken in Japanese) best of luck to the International Space Station's newest laboratory.

COMMANDER MARK KELLY: (Inaudible) Discovery roll program.

CAPCOM: Roger, roll Discover.

COMMENTATOR ROB NAVIUS: Houston now controlling of the flight of Discovery, of man-made rising sun on behalf of Japan.

Discovery on the proper alignment, heads down, wings level, for the eight and a half minute ride to orbit, four and a half million pounds of hardware and humans taking aim on the International Space Station.

At 36 seconds into flight, the three liquid fuel main engines now throttling back to 72 percent of rated performance, going in the bucket, reducing the stress on the shuttle as it goes supersonic.

Discovery already five miles in altitude, eight and a half miles down range, travelling almost 1, 000 miles an hour.

CAPCOM: Discovery, Houston, go at throttle up.

KELLY: Roger go at throttle.

NAVIUS: Throttle up call acknowledged by Commander Mark Kelly, joined on the flight deck by Pilot Ken Ham, Flight Engineer Ron Garan, and Mission Speciliast Karen Nyberg. Down on the middeck are Mike Fossum, Akihiko Hoshide, and Greg Chamitoff, heading for a half year on the International Space Station.

One minute, 45 seconds into the flight, Discovery 22 miles in altitude, 23 miles down range, standing by for solid rocket booster separation.

Booster officer confirms staging, a good solid rocket booster separation.

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