Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Next space shuttle launch delayed until April 5

The flight of the next space shuttle mission has been pushed back two weeks due to several weather delays in preparing space shuttle Discovery for the next launch.

Discovery's move from the orbiter processing facility bay to the massive vehicle assembly building has already been delayed several days due to cold temperatures and rain here at the Kennedy Space Center. Rollover is now targeted for this weekend.

Technicians do not want the shuttle exposed to the extra cold temperatures due to it's effect on the 44 steering thrusters which surround the vehicle.

Space shuttle mission managers met this afternoon to approve a new time table for processing Discovery for her thirty-eighth flight.

Launch which had been planned for March 18, is now retargeted for Monday, April 5 at 6:27 am EDT -- the middle of a ten minute launch window.

Once inside the VAB, Discovery will be connected to her rust-colored external tank and rocket boosters a top the mobile launcher platform. The seven hour rollout to launch pad 39-A would then occur one week later.

Discovery new launch date is also based on the launch of a Russian Soyuz TMA with the next expedition crew bound for the space station on April 2.

The Soyuz would then dock on the 4th, allowing Discovery to then later dock on April 7th.

Stay tuned to SpaceLaunchNews.com for new developments on the next space shuttle flight.

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