Saturday, 19 February 2011

Space Shuttle Discovery Ready for Launch

NASA managers declared Discovery ready to launch next week on a mission to the International Space Station following a daylong Flight Readiness Review on Friday. Discovery is scheduled to launch Thursday, Feb. 24, at 4:50 p.m. EST.

Review of test results

Managers, engineers and contractors went over the detailed analysis and testing performed on the support beams of Discovery's external fuel tank during the session and reviewed the repairs and modifications made. The processes of the repairs and testing involved people throughout the agency and its centers.

Shuttle crew change

The crew also underwent a change recently when astronaut Steve Bowen was assigned to take the place of Tim Kopra who was injured in a bicycle accident.  "Overall the crew was in really good shape and felt really comfortable with this change," said Mike Moses, chairman of the Mission Management Team.

Discovery is poised for Launch

Discovery is poised on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The countdown is to begin Monday at 3 p.m.
Final voyage of Discovery

Discovery flew its maiden voyage on Aug. 30, 1984, on the STS-41D mission.  Later missions included NASA’s return to flight after the loss of Challenger (September 1988) and Columbia (July 2005), launch of the Hubble Space Telescope in April 1990, the final Shuttle/Mir docking mission in June 1998 and Senator John Glenn’s shuttle flight in October 1998. When Discovery retires this year it will have flown in space 39 times, more than any other shuttle.

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