NASA's space shuttle discovery rolls off launch pad tuesday

Dec 21, 2010

Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to roll back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for additional work related to its final scheduled mission. The first motion of the shuttle is targeted for 12:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

In the VAB, technicians will scan below the surrounding the intertank section of Discovery's to look for any issues, such as cracks. They also will reapply foam after removing 89 sensors from the tank's aluminum skin following an instrumented tanking test on Dec. 17.

The sensors were used to measure changes in the tank as super-cold propellants were pumped in and drained out during the test. Data and analysis from the test will be used to determine what caused the tops of two, 21-foot-long support beams, called stringers, on the outside of the intertank to crack during fueling on Nov. 5.

Discovery's next launch attempt is no earlier than 1:37 a.m. on Feb. 3.

The fully assembled space shuttle, consisting of orbiter Discovery, the and twin solid , is mounted on a mobile launcher platform and will be returned to the VAB atop a crawler transporter. The crawler will travel slower than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey, which is expected to take about six hours.

Video highlights of the rollback will air on the NASA Television Video File segment Tuesday.

Explore further: NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Endeavour to Move to Launch Pad Monday

Feb 12, 2008

Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Monday, Feb. 18, as preparations move forward for the STS-123 mission. Endeavour is targeted to lift off March 11 ...

Space Shuttle Atlantis To Move To Launch Pad Saturday

Aug 26, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, Aug. 30. Atlantis is targeted to lift off Oct. 8 to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

Second Discovery tanking test

May 08, 2005

Following Space Shuttle Program management discussions this week, a plan was laid out today reflecting how the program will move toward the STS-114 Return to Flight launch. Preparations are under way for a tanking test no ...

Recommended for you

NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

4 hours ago

After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, ...

MAVEN studies passing comet and its effects

11 hours ago

NASA's newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew near Mars today and is studying the flyby's effects on the Red Planet's atmosphere.

How to safely enjoy the October 23 partial solar eclipse

11 hours ago

2014 – a year rich in eclipses. The Moon dutifully slid into Earth's shadow in April and October gifting us with two total lunars. Now it's the Sun's turn. This Thursday October 23 skywatchers across much ...

How to grip an asteroid

12 hours ago

For someone like Edward Fouad, a junior at Caltech who has always been interested in robotics and mechanical engineering, it was an ideal project: help develop robotic technology that could one day fly on ...

User comments : 0