Endeavour shuttle to be launched to International Space Station Friday

The Endeavour shuttle will be launched to the International Space Station /ISS/ on Friday, May 31st, at 03:44 a.m. Moscow time, Sergei Puzanov, the NASA /National Aeronautics and Space Administration/ representative in the Russian Mission Control, has been quoted as saying.

"They feared that the 31st May launch would be postponed. But weather conditions at the Canaveral launch site have changed for the better and so, the launch date was confirmed," the official said.

According to Puzanov, "the launch site is currently in the state of a seventeen-hour count-down." The shuttle will deliver to the ISS approximately three tons of equipment and the 5th long-term expedition headed by Russian cosmonaut Valery Korzun. The expedition also includes first flight engineer American astronaut Peggy Witson and second flight engineer Russian cosmonaut Sergei Trechshyov. They will replace the 4th long-term expedition, which has arrived at the station on December 8th, 2001. The Endeavour shuttle is expected to return to the Earth with the 4th expedition on-board on June 11th, the NASA representative reported.

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