Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
May 17, 2006
NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery Cargo Ready for Flight
The payloads that will launch aboard the next space shuttle mission, STS-121, arrived Wednesday at Launch Pad 39-B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Space Shuttle Discovery's cargo includes the Italian-built logistics module Leonardo, which will carry 11 large racks filled with food, clothing, spare parts and research equipment to the International Space Station. Also included in the cargo is the Oxygen Generation System, which can provide enough oxygen each day to support a six-member crew. The system will be operational before the first six-person crew arrives aboard the station in 2009.
An integrated cargo carrier will deliver a spare pump module and replacement mobile transporter reel assembly to the station. Another carrier containing pieces of the shuttle's heat-shielding material is also installed in Discovery's payload bay. The material will be used to test heat shield repair methods in orbit during a potential third spacewalk.
Discovery's launch to the International Space Station is targeted for July 1 in a launch window that extends to July 19. During the 12-day mission, crew members will test new hardware and techniques to improve shuttle safety.
Imagery from the transfer and the latest information on the STS-121 mission and crew is available at: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
Video highlights of the transfer to the launch pad will air on Thursday's NASA TV's Video File segments. NASA TV's Video File news feed is on the Media Channel (Program 103) at 6 - 8 and 9 - 11 a.m.; 12 - 2 and 4 - 7 p.m.; and 10 p.m. - midnight. All times are Eastern.
The Media Channel is available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal via satellite AMC-6; 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, it's on AMC-7; 137 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. A digital video broadcast compliant integrated receiver decoder is required for reception. For media unable to receive the Media Channel, a modified version of Video-File airs on the Public Channel at 9 a.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. (Eastern). For downlink, Media and Public Channel information and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For information about the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station
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