Friday, February 18, 2011

NASA Launch Date Review Nears End

NASA's flight readiness review for the planned launch next Thursday of shuttle Discovery is winding toward an end and officials expect a news briefing to start around 6 p.m.

Senior managers and agency executives have been listening this afternoon to presentations on the repairs that have been made to the shuttle's external tank since cracks were found in foam and underlying metal support beams on the ribbed mid-section of the tank.

NASA engineers and managers are confident that the repairs will prevent foam debris from popping off the tank and striking shuttle heat shield components during the nine-minute climb into orbit.

Participants in the news briefing will include NASA space operations chief Bill Gerstenmaier, shuttle launch integration manager Mike Moses and shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach.

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