Solid Rocket Boosters
NASA continues its steady progress toward Return to Flight with a key milestone at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This photo shows the aft skirt and lower segment of a Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) moving through the doors of the facility's massive Vehicle Assembly Building.
These segments will be prepared, then assembled with other segments arriving later, and will eventually help propel Discovery into orbit on the Return to Flight mission, STS-114, currently planned for May 2005. Returning the Shuttle fleet to safe flight and completing the International Space Station is the first step in the Vision for Space Exploration.
The two 149-foot tall, 12-foot diameter SRBs provide the main propulsion system during the launch of the 180,000-pound orbiters. They operate along with the Space Shuttle Main Engines for the first two minutes of flight, then jettison away from the Shuttle to be recovered in the ocean and re-used later.
Credit: NASA/Kennedy Space Center
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