NASA has cleared Discovery for take off on Thursday, February 24 - the date purported in January when the continual delay due to additional small cracks on the shuttle's tank was reported last.

The 11-day final flight will involve six-member crew delivering a storage module, a science rig and spare parts to the international space station. The shuttle fleet-leader Discovery will lift off next Thursday at 4:50 p.m. on its 39th and final flight carrying six astronauts, NASA confirmed on Friday.

The take off is scheduled six hours after a robotic European cargo carrier would arrive at the International Space Station - the crew's destination.

The crew - Mission commander Steve Lindsey, pilot Eric Boe and four mission specialists: Michael Barratt, Stephen Bowen, Al Drew and Nicole Stott - will be accompanied by Robonaut 2, the first human-like android.

The announcement came after an all-day flight readiness review at Kennedy Space Center.

Discovery's final flight has suffered a delay close to four months due to external tank defects.

The three-month, 20-day delay in the 133rd shuttle mission, originally slated for November, ended after technicians successfully fixed the defects.

The Feb. 24 confirmation comes in line with the date purported in January.

Managers are evaluating potential launch dates for space shuttle Discovery in late February and working to see if International Space Station on orbit operations would allow a launch as early as Feb. 24. More will be known next week and managers hope to set a launch date by the end of next week, NASA had said in a Jan. 7 statement.