The Shuttle Discovery on the Launch Pad (note its size compared to the van that appears in the picture)
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Weather Cooperates with Discovery Launch
News story originally written on August 8, 1997
The mission STS-85 of the shuttle Discovery was launched at 10:41 EDT Thursday, August 7th. NASA officials were concerned that bad weather (a cold front and rain) would interfere with the launch. One helicopter had to be put up to check visibility, but other than that everything with the weather was fine.
Astronauts have already deployed the CRISTA-SPAS science satellite that is measuring infrared radiation emitted by the Earth's atmosphere. This satellite is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth enterprise, a study of the Earth as a global system. The 10-day mission also includes time for testing a small robotic arm identical to the one that will be used on the International Space Station's Japanese Experiment Module.
This is Discovery's 23rd flight in space. As Johnson Space Center Director George Abbey said, "...the diversity of the Space Shuttle system is once again ready to be demonstrated with STS-85."
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