NASA's space shuttle discovery rolls off launch pad tuesday

December 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: Endeavour to Move to Launch Pad Monday

Related Stories

Endeavour to Move to Launch Pad Monday

February 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

August 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 8, 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

Saturn's bulging core implies moons younger than thought

December 7, 2016

Freshly harvested data from NASA's Cassini mission reveals that Saturn's bulging core and twisting gravitational forces offer clues to the ages of the planet's moons. Astronomers now believe that the ringed planet's moons ...

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

Giant radio flare of Cygnus X-3 detected by astronomers

December 7, 2016

(Phys.org)—Russian astronomers have recently observed a giant radio flare from a strong X-ray binary source known as Cygnus X-3 (Cyg X-3 for short). The flare occurred after more than five years of quiescence of this source. ...

Cassini transmits first images from new orbit

December 7, 2016

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's ...

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.