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  Saturday, October 31, 2020
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A delegation from the Roskosmos has arrived at Cape Canaveral
A delegation from the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) has arrived at Cape Canaveral (the United States, Florida) to watch the Discovery space shuttle be launched today at 11.51 p.m. Moscow time [7.51 p.m. GMT]. "The Roskosmos delegation [led by Alexei Krasnov, the head of the Agency's manned flight program department] is also to hold a number of bilateral Russian-American meetings," spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko said. Experts at Russia's Mission Control in Korolyov, the Moscow region, will watch a live link-up of the flight. The U.S. grounded the shuttle fleet after the tragic Columbia crash in February 2003, which killed the seven crewmembers, including Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. Following the crash, Russian manned Soyuz spaceships and Progress cargo ships were the only way to deliver crew and cargo to the International Space Station. The Discovery flight will be the 114th shuttle mission, but the Discovery flight will be the first to be commanded by a woman, Eileen Collins. The crew also includes a Japanese astronaut, Soichi Noguchi.
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