External Tank, Solid Rocket Boosters, Readied for Next Shuttle Launch

August 6, 2008
Technicians watch as a new fine guidance sensor for the Hubble Space Telescope is moved in preparation for the launch of STS-125 on a mission to upgrade Hubble. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

External tank ET-127 and the twin solid rocket boosters, which will fly with space shuttle Atlantis on the next shuttle mission, were joined Aug. 3 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The next processing milestone will be the attachment of the external tank and boosters to Atlantis, scheduled Aug. 18. STS-125, the fifth and final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Center on Oct. 8 at 12:34 a.m. CDT.

Technicians working in special facilities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida continue preparing the instruments and flight equipment for the STS-125 mission, which will upgrade NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The effort is expected to keep Hubble operating for at least another five years.

In the Orbiter Processing Facility, workers are attaching hard covers onto the windows of space shuttle Atlantis. The covers protect the windows while the shuttle is moved, stacked and rolled to the launch pad.

Another milestone leading to the launch of Atlantis was met Wednesday when crews completed repairs to the damaged flame trench at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy. Workers applied a fire-resistant concrete over exposed areas of the trench where bricks broke loose during the launch of Discovery on May 31.

NASA's Johnson Space Center reopened today. The center closed Monday and Tuesday while Tropical Storm Edouard passed over the Houston area. Despite the storm, Mission Control remained open to provide guidance for the International Space Station.

STS-125 Commander Scott Altman and Pilot Gregory C. Johnson are practicing shuttle landing procedures aboard the Shuttle Training Aircraft. The five mission specialists for the flight are at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to familiarize themselves with the hardware they will use during the Hubble servicing flight.

Atlantis is targeted to liftoff Oct. 8.

Provided by NASA

Explore further: Taking plants off-planet – how do they grow in zero gravity?

Related Stories

Image: STS-7 launches through the clouds

June 19, 2015

On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space when the space shuttle Challenger launched on mission STS-7 from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-7 crew consisted of ...

Recommended for you

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.