Papermaker prepares for historic liftoff

CHS grad Michael Barratt is part of the Space Shuttle Discovery crew

When: Thursday, 1:50 p.m. PST

Where: Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

What: Space Transportation System-133 Mission is expected to last 11 days.

For more information: Log on to www.nasa.gov/shuttle

When: Thursday, 1:50 p.m. PST

Where: Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

What: Space Transportation System-133 Mission is expected to last 11 days.

For more information: Log on to www.nasa.gov/shuttle

An astronaut who grew up in Camas is scheduled to begin an 11-day mission to the International Space Station Thursday.

Michael Barratt and five other astronauts plan to be on the Space Shuttle Discovery for the launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is set for 1:50 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

The STS-133 mission is Discovery’s final scheduled flight. The astronauts for the mission will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module to provide additional storage space in the space station. Experiments in physics, materials science, biology and biotechnology may be conducted inside the module.

The multipurpose module also carries “Robonaut 2” – the first human-like robot in space. It will become a permanent resident of the station. The Space Shuttle will deliver spare parts and the Express Logistics Carrier 4 – an external platform that holds large equipment. Barratt is a 1977 graduate of Camas High School. He earned his medical degree from Northwestern University, in Chicago, in 1985. In 2009, Barratt became the first American flight surgeon with a formal specialty in aerospace medicine to fly in space. He spent 197 days on the International Space Station, after launching from Kazakhstan in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Joining Barratt on Discovery this week will be Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Steve

Bowen and Nicole Stott. Bowen and Drew will conduct two space walks to install new components and perform maintenance.

Bowen replaced Tim Kopra as Mission Specialist 2 after Kopra sustained a bicycle injury on Jan. 15. Bowen last flew on Atlantis in May 2010, as part of the STS-132 crew. Flying on the STS-133 mission will make Bowen the first astronaut to fly on consecutive missions.

The STS-133 mission’s first launch attempt on Nov. 5, 2010, was scrubbed because of a gaseous hydrogen leak at the external fuel tank’s ground umbilical carrier plate. The spacecraft was rolled off of the launch pad on Dec. 21, to allow technicians to perform X-ray type scans and repairs to Discovery’s external tank.

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