Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The crew of the next space shuttle flight arrived here at the Kennedy Space Center to prepare for their launch to the international space station early this Tuesday.
Due to storms and weather between Houston and Cape Canaveral, the crew flew together in a NASA Gulfstream II jet instead of seperate T-38 Talon jets. The Gulfstream arrived at the shuttle landing facility at 6:38 pm EDT, this evening.
"Well, good afternoon," Discovery's commander Rick Sturckow began as he approached the microphone here at the SLF. "It's great to arrive here in Florida for the launch of STS-128. We've been studying and training hard for just about a year now and we're ready to go accomplish this mission. Very happy to be here."
Discovery's crew includes pilot Kevin Ford, and mission specialists Jose Hernandez, Patrick Forrester, John "Danny" Olivas, Christer Fuglesang (European Space Agency) and Nicole Stott.
Stott, who will be dropped off for a 2 1/2-month stay aboard the space station, summed up her thoughts tonight, "I'm really, really happy to be back here at KSC; and I'm really looking forward to the ride to station next week."
The launch countdown is slated to begin this Friday night at 11PM EDT, as NASA aims to launch Discovery this Tuesday morning at 1:36:02 am.