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: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to launch from Cape Canaveral this decade (Update)

Related Stories

Space shuttle moved to launch pad on freezing morn

January 6, 2010

(AP) -- Space shuttle Endeavour is on the launch pad after a freezing three-and-a-half-mile trip. NASA moved the shuttle out of its hangar before dawn Wednesday. The temperature was bitterly cold, getting as low as 29. As ...

Recommended for you

Tracking down the 'missing' carbon from the Martian atmosphere

November 24, 2015

Mars is blanketed by a thin, mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere—one that is far too thin to prevent large amounts of water on the surface of the planet from subliming or evaporating. But many researchers have suggested that ...

NEOWISE identifies greenhouse gases in comets

November 24, 2015

After its launch in 2009, NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft observed 163 comets during the WISE/NEOWISE prime mission. This sample from the space telescope represents the largest infrared survey of comets to date. Data from the survey ...


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.