Space Shuttle Discovery Arrives at Launch Pad, Countdown Test Set

May 05, 2008
Space Shuttle Discovery Arrives at Launch Pad, Countdown Test Set
Access platforms at Launch Pad 39A are moved into position against Space Shuttle Discovery. Discovery arrived at its seaside launch pad and was hard down at 6:06 a.m. EDT on May 3. Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder

After safely reaching its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, space shuttle Discovery now awaits its next major milestone for the upcoming STS-124 mission. A launch dress rehearsal, known as the terminal countdown demonstration test, is scheduled to take place at Kennedy from May 6 to 9.

Discovery arrived at the pad at 4:25 a.m. EDT Saturday on top of a giant crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter left Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 11:47 p.m. Friday, traveling less than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The shuttle was secured on the launch pad at 6:06 a.m. Saturday.

Discovery is targeted to launch May 31 on a 13-day mission to the International Space Station. The shuttle's seven crew members will deliver the Kibo laboratory's large Japanese Pressurized Module, or JPM, and its remote manipulator system to the International Space Station. Three spacewalks will be conducted during the flight.

Mark Kelly will command the STS-124 mission. Ken Ham will be the pilot. The mission specialists are Karen Nyberg, Ron Garan, Mike Fossum, Greg Chamitoff and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. Chamitoff will remain on the station as a resident crew member, replacing station Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman, who will return home on Discovery.

The STS-124 astronauts and ground crews will participate in the practice countdown. The terminal countdown demonstration test provides each shuttle crew with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training.

STS-124 is the 123rd shuttle flight, the 35th flight for Discovery and the 26th flight to the station.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Russian, American ready for a year in space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Russian, American ready for a year in space

8 hours ago

The Russian astronaut heading off for a year in space says he'll miss the natural landscapes on Earth. His American counterpart jokes he won't miss his twin brother.

Image: The colors of sunset over the ISS

21 hours ago

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took these images from the International Space Station during her six-month mission. The Progress cargo ship and Soyuz crew spacecraft reflect sunlight as our star sets ...

Feud on Earth but peace in space for US and Russia

Mar 26, 2015

Hundreds of kilometres below on Earth, their governments are locked in a standoff over Ukraine—but up in space, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are still working together side by side.

Japan launches replacement spy satellite

Mar 26, 2015

Japan on Thursday successfully launched a replacement spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, as an existing device comes to the end of its working life.

User comments : 0

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.