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August 28, 2009

Shuttle prepares for night launch

The rotating support structure was rolled away from the shuttle Discovery Friday in preparation for a night launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., NASA said.

The shuttle was targeted for liftoff at 11:59 EDT with no issues reported that could affect the launch, NASA officials said.

A launch Tuesday was delayed by storms and a launch Wednesday was scrapped after a problem with a fuel valve.

Discovery's external fuel tanks were to be loaded as astronauts prepared to ferry supplies to the International Space Station, NASA officials said.

Discovery, commanded by astronaut Rick Sturckow, is to deliver refrigerator-sized racks of equipment, including the COLBERT treadmill, an exercise device named after comedian Stephen Colbert.