Discovery Fueled, Ready for Launch

The external tank of space shuttle Discovery has been loaded with about 500,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as the countdown toward a 5:02 p.m. EDT liftoff continues smoothly. The hydrogen fuel and its oxidizer that are in the external tank will power space shuttle Discovery's three main engines during the 8 1/2-minute launch into orbit from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The twin solid rocket boosters are shipped to the space station center with propellant already packed inside the cylinder segments.

The weather is looking promising for launch day, according to Space Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters. Isolated coastal showers may be in the area during the morning hours, but a sea breeze will develop in the afternoon, clearing the coast and causing any showers to move inland. There is an 80 percent chance of favorable weather at launch time.

The Japanese Pressurized Module for the Kibo space laboratory also is prepared for its ride to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery during the STS-124 space mission.

Seven astronauts of space station, commanded by Mark Kelly, will step into their orange pressure suits shortly before riding to the launch pad to take their places inside the solar system spacecraft. Kelly, Ken Ham, Ron Garan, Mike Fossum, Karen Nyberg, Gregory Chamitoff and Japan's Akihiko Hoshide will make the trip into space station and then install the Kibo segment to the space station. Chamitoff will remain onboard the space station, taking the place of astronaut Garrett Reisman.Read more..>

0 Response to "Discovery Fueled, Ready for Launch"