Monday, August 24, 2009

Space Shuttle Discovery Ready for Flight

Space shuttle Discovery is in the final stages of preparation before its flight to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Fueling of Discovery's external tank with 500,000 gallons of super-cold liquid oxygen and hydrogen is scheduled to begin at 4:11 p.m. EDT, depending on weather conditions at the time.

The "topping off" of propellants into the tank will continue until Discovery's liftoff. All systems aboard the shuttle are functioning normally and no issues are being reported. Weather continues to be 80 percent acceptable for a 1:36 a.m. Tuesday launch.

Coverage of Discovery's liftoff on the STS-128 mission begins Monday at 8:30 p.m. Follow the countdown with NASA's launch blog and live commentary broadcast on NASA TV.
Discovery Readies for Station Resupply Flight
Space shuttle Discovery will carry the Leonardo supply module to the International Space Station during STS-128, along with a new crew member for the station, Nicole Stott.

Commanded by veteran astronaut Rick "C.J." Sturckow, the STS-128 mission crew will deliver refrigerator-sized racks full of equipment, including the COLBERT treadmill, an exercise device named after comedian Stephen Colbert.

Stott will take the place of Tim Kopra, who moved into the station during STS-127. Pilot Kevin Ford and Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez, John "Danny" Olivas and Sweden's Christer Fuglesang round out the crew.

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