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Tracy Young
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

NASA Offers Media View of New Firing Room for STS-121 Launch
Media are invited to view a newly renovated firing room in the Kennedy Space Center Launch Control Center at 1 p.m. Friday. The STS-121 launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on July 1 will mark the first use of Firing Room 4 (FR 4) for a space shuttle launch countdown.

Now designated the primary firing room for all remaining shuttle launches, FR 4 will also be used daily to manage operations in the Orbiter Processing Facilities and for integrated processing for the shuttle.

Ted Mosteller, NASA test director, will provide a briefing about FR 4, which has been undergoing renovations for two years. The firing room now includes sound-suppressing walls and floors, new humidity control, fire-suppression systems and consoles, support tables with computer stations, communication systems and laptop computer ports. FR 4 also has power and computer network connections and a newly improved Checkout, Control and Monitor Subsystem.

The renovation is part of the Launch Processing System Extended Survivability Project that began in 2003. United Space Alliance's Launch Processing System directorate managed the FR 4 project for NASA.

A fully manned firing room can hold more than 200 people, including the NASA launch director, space shuttle program management staff, test conductors, shuttle launch engineers, support engineers, public affairs staff and others.

Media should not wear shorts to the event, and flash photography is prohibited. Electronic devices, such as cell phones and pagers, are not permitted in the Launch Control Center.

Those who wish to attend should arrive at the KSC Press Site by noon. Permanently badged media interested in attending must contact the KSC Press Site at 321-867-2468 by close of business Thursday. STS-121 mission badges will be honored for this event.

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