NASA Gives Green Light for Friday's FRR
Technicians at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center are finishing up their work today in the back section of space shuttle Discovery in preparation for a tentative launch to the International Space Station next week.
NASA Space Shuttle Program managers gave the go-ahead Wednesday for the Flight Readiness Review, or FRR, following an in-depth review of the testing and inspection data from space shuttle Discovery's gaseous hydrogen flow control valves. Managers concluded at yesterday’s meeting that technicians do not need to add reinforcement to the area known as the elbow bend in the gaseous hydrogen pressure line, which is located near the flow control valves in Discovery’s engine plumbing.
Managers will hold a news conference following Friday's FRR and are expected to announce the official launch date for Discovery’s STS-119 mission. The briefing is scheduled to begin no earlier than 2:30 p.m. EST at Kennedy.
For planning purposes, launch is tentatively targeted for March 11 at 9:20 p.m. EDT.
In anticipation of a launch date, the STS-119 crew has entered quarantine at NASA Johnson Space Center's Astronaut Quarantine Facility, where they will spend the day reviewing their flight plans.
If the March 11 launch date is approved, Discovery's crew will fly to Kennedy on Sunday in advance of the start of the countdown, which begins at 7 p.m.