WASHINGTON, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Discovery space shuttle finally lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after bad weather and technical problems caused three previous launches to be delayed, a NASA spokesman said.
Discovery blasted off at 11:59 p.m. local time on Friday (03:59 GMT Saturday) for the International Space Station.
The shuttle with its seven-person crew is commanded by veteran astronaut Rick Sturckow. It is due to deliver supplies, including fitness equipment and the Leonardo supply module, to the ISS.
NASA has also said that U.S. astronaut Tim Kopra, who has been part of the ISS crew since July, will be replaced by U.S. astronaut Nicole Stott.
The Discovery launch was due to take place on August 24 but poor weather and a problem with a fuel valve caused three postponements.