Thursday, 17 February 2011

Shuttle Discovery Crew Lock Down

On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 Technicians preparing Space Shuttle Discovery for launch on the 24th of February closed the inter tank door on the shuttle's external fuel tank at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Teams are performing final inspections on the spacecraft and will fill up several orange bags with water at the flame trench at Launch Pad 39A.

The sausage-shaped bags called ‘water troughs’ are suspended beneath the nozzles of the solid rocket boosters. At ignition, they burst open and the water helps dampen the sound waves generated by the boosters.

At NASA's Johnson Space Center, STS-133 crew members are enjoying a day off today before entering quarantine in their crew quarters in advance of the targeted launch date.
The crew consists of Commander Steven Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt, Steve Bowen and Nicole Stott. Bowen replaced astronaut Tim Kopra, who was injured in an accident in January.

Discovery will deliver and install the Permanent Multipurpose Module, the Express Logistics Carrier 4 and provide critical spare components to the International Space Station. This will be the 35th shuttle mission to the station and the final mission for the elderly spacecraft.

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