L - 7 Weeks
Sunita Williams' Mission Log
Happy October (ALREADY) Everyone!
Image to right: Astronaut Sunita Williams looks out from a hole for carbon dioxide removal canisters in the middeck of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Image credit: Larry Reed, United Space Alliance
Just to give you a quick update as to what we've been up to lately. Last week was CEIT, Crew Equipment Interface Test. All those words mean that we, the STS-116 crew, traveled to Florida to see “our” space shuttle, Discovery. We were allowed to climb all around her, inside and out, to see every piece of hardware that we will interface with. It was awesome! One of the photos I sent is me in the orbiter floor – usually carbon dioxide removal canisters go in the hole where my head is – it is the floor of the mid-deck. I will forward more photos as they come in. The little silver posts are where two of the seven seats will be during launch. This was also the last time we will see Discovery in the “horizontal” position. As of Friday, she should have “rolled over” from the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) – the garage where they have been working on her since July – to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). There she will be mated to the rest of the “stack,” which includes the solid rocket boosters (SRBs, two white tall things) and the external tank (ET, big orange thing). Those two pieces of hardware are already in the “vertical” position connected to the mobile launch platform (MLP).
The MLP is on a machine known as the crawler because it “crawls” approximately six inches per minute out to the launch site. There it will drop off the entire “stack” to include the space shuttle, ET, SRBs and MLP. That should happen sometime in mid-November.
Image to left: During a Crew Equipment Interface Test (CEIT) in the Orbiter Processing Facility, STS-116 Mission Specialist Sunita Williams points to an area of the orbiter boom sensor system in Discovery's payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
The website below has more pictures of CEIT and other info about Kennedy Space Center – for your reading/viewing pleasure:
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So, needless to say – the wheels are in motion for a Dec. 7 launch. So glad you all will be involved one way or another!
More to come as we get closer to launch!