Space shuttle Discovery was launched early today, Monday, April 6, 2010 at 6:21 am at the Kennedy Space Center aboard its six-member astronaut crew headed by U.S. Navy Captain Alan Poindexter.
Dubbed as the “STS-131” mission, the astronauts will be on a 13-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS) to perform three spacewalks to deliver the multi-purpose logistics module containing science racks for use in the various labs throughout the space station.
According to NASA, the astronauts will also collect a Japanese science experiment thereby including mission specialist Naoko Yamakazi of the Japanese Space Agency in the space mission. In addition, they will also switch out a gyro assembly on part of the station’s truss structure.
“If you take a look at the spacewalks and the time of this mission, it’s an extremely packed mission,” says William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Space Operations of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
A lot of critics have expressed their disappointment to the Obama Administration for cancellation of the Constellation Program of NASA. The programs aims to develop a new rocket and space capsule to lift astronauts into orbit which would have seen astronauts return to the moon again by the year 2020.