NASA Podcasts

Testing the STS-119 Crew
01.27.09
 
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NARRATOR: The seven astronauts who will fly space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station recently completed a full launch dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The crew members arrived in their T-38 jets Jan. 19, and after a short briefing, headed off to Launch Pad 39B to practice driving M-113 armored personnel carriers.

Veteran astronaut Lee Archambault will command the STS-119 flight, assisted by Pilot Tony Antonelli, Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata.

Late in the afternoon, Archambault and Antonelli took to the skies in NASA's Shuttle Training Aircraft to practice landing a jet that handles much like the space shuttle.

The next day, the astronauts took part in safety training at the 195-foot level of Launch Pad 39A.

The crew also inspected Discovery's payload bay with the S6 truss and U.S. solar arrays tucked securely inside.

On the final day of training, the crew members suited up and checked the fit of their flight suits, helmets and gloves. They left the Operations and Checkout Building waving to a crowd of well-wishers and made their way out to the pad.

After all the crew members were seated in Discovery's flight deck, technicians briefly closed the hatch.

After wrapping up three days of intensive training, the astronauts left Kennedy for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to continue training for this mission to power up the International Space Station.

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