Feeds

Space shuttle Discovery launched

New International Space Station module in tow

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The space shuttle Discovery was successfully launched today, despite zero-hour concerns about a chunk of ice on the fuel tank.

The crew of seven blasted off at 11:38 a.m. EST, on a 14-day mission to begin the refurbishment of the $100bn International Space Station which will house Europe's first permanent laboratory in orbit.

"I'd like to wish you good luck, Godspeed and have a little fun up there," launch director Mike Leinbach told the crew before liftoff.

Just two hours before lift-off, a 10cm by 3.8cm piece of ice was discovered on plumbing between the external fuel tank and the shuttle. The ice, however, was determined to be too small by NASA to pose a serious launch hazard.

The astronauts will install a new Italian-built module for the space station called Harmony, which will serve as a berthing port for the anticipated Columbus laboratory. NASA plans to launch Columbus aboard the shuttle Atlantis on December 6 — a mere five years behind schedule.

Columbus will be the European Space Agency's main contribution to the space station, and has already cost the ESA $7.08bn. The lab is expected to run up an additional $5.66bn through its life-cycle.

The crew will also move an enormous girder and pair of solar panels to a new location on the space station.

Five spacewalks are planned, four to complete the construction and one to test a new method for fixing damaged shuttle thermal tiles. ®

Geocentrist artist's representation

Geocentrist artist's representation: While passing through heaven, they may spot

Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, and my childhood dog Wuffers.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.