Discovery Nears February Launch to Station

January 13, 2009
At Kennedy's Launch Pad 39A the open doors of the payload canister reveal the S6 integrated truss structure and U.S. solar arrays for the STS-119 mission. Photo credit: NASA/Chris Rhodes

( -- Space shuttle Discovery's installation to its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters was completed Sunday afternoon.

The shuttle stack atop the mobile launcher platform is scheduled to roll out to Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A at 4 a.m. EST Jan. 14.

The 3.4-mile journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad aboard NASA's crawler-transporter will take about six hours.

Discovery's cargo, the S6 truss segment and solar arrays, was transferred to the pad Sunday and is being lifted into the pad's changeout room today. The equipment will remain there until the shuttle arrives and it's loaded into the payload bay.

At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the STS-119 astronauts are rehearsing in the fixed base simulator. The crew spends many hours training with dials and controls identical to that of the shuttle computer and screens that animate the view from outside the shuttle's window. Johnson technicians program the simulator's software to throw various problem situations at the crew to make sure they can cope with anything while in flight.

Provided by NASA

Explore further: Space station accepts first Virginia delivery in two years

Related Stories

Recommended for you

NASA missions harvest a passel of 'pumpkin' stars

October 27, 2016

Astronomers using observations from NASA's Kepler and Swift missions have discovered a batch of rapidly spinning stars that produce X-rays at more than 100 times the peak levels ever seen from the sun. The stars, which spin ...

A dead star's ghostly glow

October 27, 2016

The eerie glow of a dead star, which exploded long ago as a supernova, reveals itself in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Crab Nebula. But don't be fooled. The ghoulish-looking object still has a pulse. Buried ...


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.