Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Space shuttle Discovery arrives atop Pad 39A

The space shuttle Discovery was moved from her assembly building this morning out to her ocean side launch pad in preparation for her Easter Monday launch with a crew of seven.

The official first motion time for the STS-131 stack as it departed the Vehicle Assembly Building was 11:58 pm EST, on Wednesday evening.

Riding a top the mobile launcher platform at just 1 mph, the six hour, 3.5 mile journey was very quick as the space shuttle traveled through the darkness of a Florida wildlife preserve.

The uneventful trip out to launch complex 39 and pad A occurred under overcast skies, gusty winds and chilly temperatures this morning.

Discovery is currently set to launch on Monday, April 5 at 6:21:17 am EDT, on a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Tucked inside the orbiter's payload bay is the Leonardo module loaded with several tons of supplies and experiments.

The crew will also conduct three spacewalks to retrieve a science experiment and perform maintenance work outside the station.

The flight crew is here at Cape Canaveral this week for launch pad training and a mock practice countdown. They were at the VAB to watch the rollout begin -- the orbiter's first steps toward getting to the space station.

At the helm of Discovery will be commander Alan Poindexter.
The STS-131 crew includes pilot James Dutton, Jr, and mission specialists Rick Mastracchio, Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, Stephanie Wilson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger and Clayton Anderson.

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