Archive for July, 2006

By July 1, 2006 Read More →

Discovery set for Launch

NASA’s Space shuttle Discovery is all set for launch on what will be the second mission since the loss of Columbia.

Mission STS-121 (Discovery’s 32nd flight) should see Discovery launch at around 1549 EDT (1949 GMT) but is dependent on local weather conditions being suitable.

Modifications

NASA have made a number of modifications to the orbiter, the most significant being the changes to the external tank. The Proterberance Air Load Ramps have been removed from the fuel tank as this was the area that foam was previously shed from. Following extensive testing and analysis the PAL Ramps have been deemed unnecessary.

Changes have been made to Discoverie’s heat shield. More than 5000 gap fillers have been replaced and the heat tiles around the front landing gear doors have been replaced with ‘hardened’ tiles as this is a particularly vulnerable area.

Discovery Crew

From the left are astronauts Stephanie D. Wilson, Michael E. Fossum, both mission specialists; Steven W. Lindsey, commander; Piers J. Sellers, mission specialist; Mark E. Kelly, pilot; European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany; and Lisa M. Nowak, both mission specialists. Image credit: NASA

Matt

(Image credit: NASA/KSC)

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