"I could not be more proud of the team that spent the last two years working on Discovery. We are extremely excited to reach this point in the processing for flight," said Stephanie Stilson, NASA Vehicle Manager for Discovery. "Seeing the orbiter roll to the VAB is the culmination of all of that hard work. We look forward to a safe Return to Flight," she said.
While in the Orbiter Processing Facility, Discovery underwent 41 modifications in response to the Columbia accident and the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. They included addition of the new Orbiter Boom Sensor System; equipping the orbiter with cameras and laser systems to inspect the Shuttle's Thermal Protection System (heat shield) while in space; sensors in the leading edge of the Shuttle's wings, a new safety measure that monitors the orbiter's wings for debris impacts; and a new digital camera to view the ET during launch.
Discovery also completed its Orbiter Major Modification (OMM) period that began in September 2002. Technicians completed 107 additional modifications to Discovery, 17 will be flying for the first time. OMMs are scheduled at regular intervals to enhance safety and performance and to infuse new technology.
The next Return to Flight milestone is scheduled early next week, when Discovery begins its four mile journey to Launch Pad 39-B. Dates and times are subject to change, and updates are available by calling: 321/867-2525.
For imagery of Discovery's rollover and attachment on the Internet, visit:
Video and sound bites from the rollover feed on NASA TV available on the Web and via satellite in the continental U.S. on AMC-6, Transponder 9C, C-Band, at 72 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. In Alaska and Hawaii, it's available on AMC-7, Transponder 18C, C-Band, at 137 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 4060.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz.
For NASA TV information and schedules on the Internet, visit:
For the latest information about NASA's Return to Flight efforts on the Internet, visit:
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