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The Nation

The crew of the shuttle Discovery arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a dress-rehearsal countdown Thursday, one of the last major steps before launch on the first post-Challenger flight in just three weeks or so. Despite rain and heavy clouds, commander Frederick H. Hauck and co-pilot Richard D. Covey practiced landing procedures aboard a business jet modified to mimic the handling characteristics of a shuttle. Their crew mates--George D. Nelson, John M. Lounge and David C. Hilmers--practiced driving armored personnel carriers that would be available near the pad on launch day in the event of an emergency that would force the crew to get out of the area quickly.


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