Shuttle Discovery at Launch Pad; Launch Dress Rehearsal Next
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - With space shuttle Discovery now at its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the next major milestone for the upcoming STS-120 mission is a full launch dress rehearsal.
The shuttle arrived at the pad near noon EDT Sunday on top of a giant vehicle called the crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter began carrying Discovery out of Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 6:47 a.m., traveling less than 1 mph during the 3.4 mile journey. Discovery was firmly on the launch pad, or hard down, at 1:15 p.m.
Discovery is targeted to launch Oct. 23 on a 14-day mission to the International Space Station. The shuttle's seven crew members will add a module to the space station that will serve as a port for installing additional international laboratories. The crew also will move the station's first set of solar arrays to a permanent location and redeploy them.
Discovery's crew members are Commander Pam Melroy, Pilot George Zamka and Mission Specialists Scott Parazynski, Stephanie Wilson, Doug Wheelock, Daniel Tani and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency. Tani will remain aboard the station and return with the STS-122 crew, targeted to launch Dec. 6. Current station Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson will return to Earth aboard Discovery.
The STS-120 astronauts and ground crews will participate in a launch dress rehearsal, known as the terminal countdown demonstration test, or TCDT, from Oct. 7 to 10 at Kennedy. The test provides each shuttle crew with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training.
The following are media events associated with the test. All times are Eastern.
Oct. 7 - STS-120 Crew Arrival: The crew will arrive at 7 p.m. at the Shuttle Landing Facility and make a statement. The arrival will not be broadcast live but will be part of the NASA TV Video File.
Oct. 9 - STS-120 Crew Media Q&A: The crew will take media questions at Launch Pad 39A at 8:15 a.m. The session will be carried live on NASA TV.
Oct. 10 - STS-120 Crew Walkout Photo Opportunity: The astronauts will depart from the Operations and Checkout Building at 7:45 a.m. in their flight entry suits in preparation for the countdown demonstration test at the launch pad. The walkout will not be broadcast live but will be part of the NASA TV Video File.
Dates and times of events are subject to change. Schedule updates are available at 321-867-2525.
New foreign media accreditation for these events is closed. U.S. media without permanent Kennedy Space Center credentials must apply for accreditation online by 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 4 at: https://media.ksc.nasa.gov
To attend crew arrival, reporters must pick up badges by 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at the Pass and Identification Building on State Road 3.
For information about covering these events, including proper attire and meeting locations, credentialed media should visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/media.html
Video b-roll of the terminal countdown demonstration test will be available on the NASA TV Video File. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For information about the STS-120 mission and crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
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