NASA moved shuttle Discovery from its Vehicle Assembly
Building (VAB) to launch complex 39A, its final destination before launching
into space. Originally scheduled to be moved last week, the
three-mile journey had to be delayed while engineers repaired an unexpected
hydraulic leak. Discovery will transport a connecting module Harmony
to the International Space Station (ISS) - Harmony will connect the U.S. part
of the module to the Japanese and European sections, which will be installed
The U.S. space agency hopes to launch Discovery on October 23, although only
two backup days are available if a technical malfunction causes a delay.
As the threat of a global space war continues to grow, especially after China
successfully demonstrated anti-satellite technology last year, Russia
issued a warning that the space power would be left with no choice but
retaliation if other nations deploy weapons. Although Col.-Gen Vladimir
Popovkin declined to single out a specific nation.
"We don't want to fight in space but on the other hand we will not permit
any other country to lord it over the cosmos," said Popovkin.
"If a country deploys weapons in space the laws of the arms race are that
opposing weapons will appear ... It's necessary to set in law the rules of the
game in space."
Both Russia and China requested the United Nations intervene to help create
international boundaries that all major space nations should abide by.
Space Adventures recently announced that its sixth
paying space tourist will be Richard Garriott, son of former astronaut Owen
Garriott, who spent almost two months stationed aboard the Skylab. As the
largest private investor in Space Adventures, Garriott is best known for
creating "Ultima" and NCsoft Corp's North American subsidiary.
Garriott will be first son of an American astronaut to head into space towards
the ISS, reportedly paying almost $30 million for the trip.
Even though Space Adventures is a company based in the United States, NASA
flies space experts only, forcing Space Adventures to send astronauts to space
on Russian Soyuz spacecrafts.