NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery Set for Final Trip to Launch Pad
Journalists are invited to cover space shuttle Discovery’s move from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Pad 39A on Monday, Jan. 31 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Six astronauts are set to launch aboard the shuttle on Feb. 24. The STS-133 mission to the International Space Station is the final scheduled flight for Discovery before it is retired.
Discovery’s first motion out of the VAB to the pad is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST. NASA Television will provide live coverage of the shuttle’s rollout. NASA TV’s Video File will broadcast highlights of the move.
The shuttle’s 3.4-mile journey atop a giant crawler-transporter is expected to take approximately six hours. Activities include an 8 p.m. photo opportunity of the move followed by interview availability at 8:30 p.m. with Discovery Flow Director Stephanie Stilson. Media representatives must arrive at Kennedy’s news center by 7:30 p.m. for the rollout photo opportunity.
NASA also will provide a sunrise photo opportunity at the launch pad on Feb. 1, following Discovery’s arrival. Reporters need to be at the news center for transportation to the viewing area by 6 a.m. Updates for events are available at 321-867-2525.
To attend rollout and the sunrise pad photo opportunity, U.S. media representatives must apply by 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28. Accreditation for international media representatives is closed. Reporters requesting accreditation must apply online at: https://media.ksc.nasa.gov
Badges for rollout may be picked up starting at 6 a.m. Jan. 31 at the Kennedy Space Center Badging Office on State Road 405.
The 11-day mission will be the 35th flight to the station and the 39th flight for Discovery. The mission will deliver and install the Permanent Multipurpose Module; critical spare components for the space station; and the Express Logistics Carrier 4 — an external platform that holds large equipment. Discovery also will deliver Robonaut 2, or R2, to become a permanent resident of the station as the first human-like robot in space.
Discovery’s first launch attempt on Nov. 5, 2010, was scrubbed because of a gaseous hydrogen leak at the external fuel tank’s ground umbilical carrier plate. The spacecraft was rolled off of the launch pad and back into the VAB on Dec. 21, 2010, to allow technicians to perform X-ray type scans and repairs to Discovery’s external tank.
For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For more information about the STS-133 mission and crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle