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Space shuttle blasts off at midnight, finally flying on third try

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Space shuttle Discovery is finally on its way to the international space station.

Discovery and seven astronauts blasted off seconds before midnight Friday, lighting up the sky for miles around.

It was NASA’s third launch attempt. Tuesday’s try was called off by thunderstorms and Wednesday’s by fuel valve trouble. Everything came together in NASA’s favor Friday night.

Discovery is hauling up a full load of space station supplies, including a treadmill named for Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert. The comedian wanted a room named after him up at the orbiting outpost, but had to settle for exercise equipment as a consolation prize.

The shuttle should reach the space station Sunday night.