Space Shuttle Discovery Rolls Out to Launch Pad

March 3, 2010
Space shuttle Discovery has completed its 3.4-mile trip from Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A. Image credit: NASA

Just before midnight last night, space shuttle Discovery began its slow roll from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Riding aboard the crawler-transporter, the shuttle completed the 3.4-mile trip and was secured to the pad by 7 a.m. EST.

The seven astronauts for Discovery's STS-131 mission, who are at Kennedy for their launch countdown dress rehearsal this week, were on-hand for the beginning of the move. The crew will continue prelaunch training today.

Commander Alan Poindexter is set to lead the STS-131 mission to the aboard . Joining Poindexter will be Pilot Jim Dutton and Mission Specialists Rick Mastracchio, Clay Anderson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson and Naoko Yamazaki of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Discovery will carry a multi-purpose logistics module filled with science racks for the laboratories aboard the station. The mission has three planned spacewalks, with work to include replacing an ammonia tank assembly, retrieving a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior, and switching out a rate gyro assembly on the S0 segment of the station’s truss structure.

STS-131 will be the 33rd shuttle mission to the station.

Explore further: Discovery prepped for next space mission

Related Stories

Space Shuttle Closer to Launch

February 14, 2007

Space Shuttle Atlantis was mated to the orange external tank and twin solid rocket boosters last week. The entire assembly is stacked on the mobile launcher platform and is targeted to roll out to Launch Pad 39A on February ...

Shuttle Discovery at Launch Pad

October 1, 2007

With space shuttle Discovery now at its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the next major milestone for the upcoming STS-120 mission is a full launch dress rehearsal.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Arrives at Launch Pad

November 12, 2007

After safely reaching its launch pad Saturday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the space shuttle Atlantis now awaits its next major milestone for the upcoming STS-122 mission. The full launch dress rehearsal is scheduled from ...

NASA gets ready for another space mission

March 31, 2008

Now that the latest space shuttle Endeavour mission is completed, the U.S. space agency said it's preparing for the May launch of space shuttle Discovery.

Recommended for you

NASA's space-station resupply missions to relaunch

November 29, 2015

NASA's commercial space program returns to flight this week as one of its private cargo haulers, Orbital ATK, is to launch its first supply shipment to the International Space Station in more than 13 months.

The hottest white dwarf in the Galaxy

November 25, 2015

Astronomers at the Universities of Tübingen and Potsdam have identified the hottest white dwarf ever discovered in our Galaxy. With a temperature of 250,000 degrees Celsius, this dying star at the outskirts of the Milky ...


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.