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Testing the Tank
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Testing the Tank

December 19, 2010
Space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank is being filled with more than 535,000 gallons of super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen during a tanking test on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Engineers are closely monitoring what happens to 21-foot long, U-shaped aluminum brackets, called stringers, located at the tank's intertank region, as well as the newly replaced ground umbilical carrier plate. Data from 89 sensors will be evaluated after the tank returns to ambient temperature.