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: Bright points in Sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior

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

Astronauts to reveal sobering data on asteroid impacts

10 hours ago

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… ...

Rosetta instrument commissioning continues

11 hours ago

We're now in week four of six dedicated to commissioning Rosetta's science instruments after the long hibernation period, with the majority now having completed at least a first initial switch on.

Astronaut salary

11 hours ago

Talk about a high-flying career! Being a government astronaut means you have the chance to go into space and take part in some neat projects—such as going on spacewalks, moving robotic arms and doing science ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Apr 16, 2014

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Hubble image: A cross-section of the universe

An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...