Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Discovery prepped for ride to VAB next week

Inside its Kennedy Space Center hangar today, Discovery has been lowered onto the 76-wheeled transporter that is scheduled to carry the spaceship to the Vehicle Assembly Building in a week.

It's likely to be the last "rollover" for Discovery, which is preparing for its final scheduled mission, targeted to launch Nov. 1 to the International Space Station.

NASA and contractor managers met today to confirm that the orbiter, the external tank and solid rocket boosters are ready to be assembled into a shuttle after Discovery's move next Wednesday. No constraints were noted.

The short journey -- across the street, essentially -- from Orbiter Processing Facility No. 3 to the VAB is expected to start at 7 a.m. Sept. 8, but managers will meet again to make sure the weather forecast is acceptable.

Discovery has been sheltered in its hangar since it returned from space April 20 to conclude the STS-131 mission.

The newly assembled shuttle stack for the 11-day STS-133 mission is expected to roll out to launch pad 39A on Sept. 21. The five-man, one-woman crew flying Discovery is scheduled to visit KSC for a launch dress rehearsal in mid-October.

IMAGE: In Orbiter Processing Facility-3 at Kennedy Space Center on July 9, Discovery commander Steve Lindsey familiarized himself with the layout of the shuttle's cockpit. The astronauts were at Kennedy for the Crew Equipment Interface Test, which provides the crew with hands-on training and observation of shuttle and flight hardware for their mission. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

6 comments:

spaceraceleadership said...

Counting down to the final Space Shuttle flight...

Anonymous said...

No wonder the Astronauts are putting in the retirement papers .they will only fly as baggage on a 40 year old design Soyuz from now on .Great idea, scrap Ares and Constellation after spending billions designing it.

spaceraceleadership said...

Can you imagine that only 40 years after the space race we'd be in a position where we'd be dependent on the Russians for rides to space? What would Kennedy do?

Anonymous said...

It's a sad sad thing indeed. The only real hope for humanity's survival as a species is in space exploration. We are destroying the Earth at an alarming rate and if we don't move on to new territory out there, we're as doomed as our planet.

Graham (From England ) said...

JFK is spinning in his grave,i'd say he'd be as mad as hell at what's going on.Personally in my book, you do not spend billions of any currancy on a project and then cancel it. YOU SEE IT THROUGH TO THE END.!! And realise your investment.!! At least Mr Keneddy had vision,and a sense of acomplishment.He set you a massive challenge, and 9 years later you did it .!! And the worlds collective jaw dropped open, and hit the deck in sheer wonder.!! I keep waiting for america to find the balls to make the next big leap,i think i may be dead when it happens and i'm only 47.cough.!!

Anonymous said...

And to think that those who support the current administration say that BHO is "cut from the same cloth" as JFK. Yet to see any evidence to support that claim, especially when it comes to Space.