Monday, July 27, 2009

Discovery Prepares for Rollout to Pad 39-A

As the space shuttle Endeavour soars 220 miles above earth, her sister ship, Discovery, was hoisted into position and attached to its external fuel tank and rocket boosters in preparation for launch in late-August.

In high bay one of the Vehicle Assembly Building here at the Kennedy Space Center, Discovery was vertically lifted by crane to a high point over its large fuel tank on Sunday. Later, engineers slowly lowered her down so that the orbiter's tank attachment points were aligned for mating.

During this week, technicians will ensure the orbiter is securely attached to the rust-colored fuel tank prior as the STS-128 space shuttle stack awaits its rollout to launch pad 39-A early next week.

Discovery is scheduled to launch in late-August on a resupply mission to the international space station as she carries the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module full of experiments, food, and fuel.

If Discovery meets the late-August launch date, it would come exactly 25 years after her madien voyage of STS-41D - NASA's 12th space shuttle flight.

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