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Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-3749)

Jessica Rye
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

July 8, 2005
Space Shuttle Discovery's Launch Countdown Begins July 10
NASA will begin the official countdown for the Return to Flight launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-114 July 10 at 6 p.m. EDT. Discovery's seven-member crew will test new equipment and procedures to increase the safety of the Shuttle and deliver spare parts, water and supplies to the International Space Station.

NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) launch team will conduct the countdown from Firing Room 3 of the Launch Control Center. The countdown includes nearly 27 hours of built-in hold time leading to a preferred launch time at about 3:51 p.m. on July 13 with a launch window extending about five minutes.

This historic mission is the 114th Space Shuttle flight and the 17th U.S. flight to the International Space Station. STS-114 is scheduled to last about 12 days with a planned KSC landing at about 11:01 a.m. EDT on July 25.

For the latest information on NASA's Return to Flight efforts, visit:

COUNTDOWN MILESTONES (all times are Eastern)

Launch-3 Days (Sunday, July 10)
Prepare for the start of the STS-114 launch countdown
Perform the call-to-stations (5:30 p.m.)
Countdown begins at the T-43 hour mark (6 p.m.)
Begin final vehicle and facility close-outs for launch
Check out backup flight systems
Review flight software stored in mass memory units and display systems
Load backup flight system software into Discovery's general purpose computers

Launch-2 Days (Monday, July 11)
Remove mid-deck and flight-deck platforms (2 a.m.)
Complete preparation to load power reactant storage and distribution system (5 a.m.)
Activate and test navigational systems (7 a.m.)
Flight deck preliminary inspections complete (10 a.m.)
Enter first built-in hold at T-27 hours for duration of four hours (10 a.m.)
Clear launch pad of all non-essential personnel
Perform test of the vehicle's pyrotechnic initiator controllers
Resume countdown (2 p.m.)
Begin loading of cryogenic reactants into Discovery's fuel cell storage tanks (3:30 p.m.)
Enter 4-hour built-in hold at T-19 hours (10 p.m.)
Demate orbiter mid-body umbilical unit (10:30 p.m.)
Resume orbiter and ground support equipment close-outs

Launch-1 Day (Tuesday, July 12)
Resume countdown (2 a.m.)
Final preparations of Shuttle's three main engines for tanking and flight (2 a.m.)
Begin filling pad sound suppression system water tank (3 a.m.)
Pad sound suppression system water tank filling complete (6 a.m.)
Close out the tail service masts on the mobile launcher platform
Enter planned hold at T-11 hours for 12 hours, 55 minutes (10 a.m.)
Begin star tracker functional checks (10:50 a.m.)
Activate Shuttle's inertial measurement units
Activate the orbiter's communications systems
Install film in numerous cameras on the launch pad (11:55 a.m.)
Flight crew equipment late stow (2:50 p.m.)
Move Rotating Service Structure (RSS) to the park position (7 p.m.)
Perform ascent switch list
Fuel cell flow-through purge complete
Resume countdown at T-11 hours (11 p.m.)

Launch Day (Wednesday, July 13)
Activate the orbiter's fuel cells (12:05 a.m.)
Clear the blast danger area of all non-essential personnel
Switch Discovery's purge air to gaseous nitrogen (1:10 a.m.)
Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at the T-6 hour mark (3:55 a.m.)
Verification of launch commit criteria prior to cryogenic loading of External Tank (ET)
Clear pad of all personnel
Resume countdown (5:55 a.m.)
Chill-down of propellant transfer lines (5:55 a.m.)
Begin loading the ET with 500,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants (approx. 6:05 a.m.)
Complete filling the ET with propellants (approx. 8:55 a.m.)
Final Inspection Team proceed to launch pad
Enter planned 3-hour built-in hold at T-3 hours (8:55 a.m.)
Perform inertial measurement unit preflight calibration
Align Merritt Island Launch Area (MILA) tracking antennas
Perform open loop test with Eastern Range
Resume countdown at T-3 hours (11:55 a.m.)
Crew departs Operations and Checkout Building for the pad (12 p.m.)
Complete close-out preparations in the white room
Check cockpit switch configurations
Flight crew begins entry into the orbiter (approx. 12:30 p.m.)
Astronauts perform air-to-ground voice checks with Launch and Mission Control
Begin to close Discovery's crew hatch (about 1:35 p.m.)
Begin Eastern Range final network open loop command checks
Perform hatch seal and cabin leak checks
Complete white room close-out
Close-out crew moves to fallback area
Primary ascent guidance data is transferred to the backup flight system
Enter planned 10-minute hold at T-20 minutes (2:35 p.m.)
NASA Test Director conducts final launch team briefings
Complete inertial measurement unit preflight alignments
Resume countdown at T-20 minutes (2:45 p.m.)
Transition the orbiter's onboard computers to launch configuration
Start fuel cell thermal conditioning
Close orbiter cabin vent valves
Transition backup flight system to launch configuration
Enter estimated 40-minute hold at T-9 minutes (2:56 p.m.)
Launch director, Mission Management Team and NASA test director conduct final polls for go/no go to launch
Resume countdown at T-9 minutes (about 3:36 p.m.)

Launch Day (Wednesday, July 13)
Start automatic ground launch sequencer (T-9:00 minutes)
Retract orbiter crew access arm (T-7:30)
Start mission recorders (T-6:15)
Start Auxiliary Power Units (T-5:00)
Arm Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) and ET range safety safe and arm devices (T-5:00)
Start liquid oxygen drainback (T-4:55)
Start orbiter aerosurface profile test (T-3:55)
Start main engine gimbal profile test (T-3:30)
Pressurize liquid oxygen tank (T-2:55)
Begin retraction of the gaseous oxygen vent arm (T-2:55)
Fuel cells to internal reactants (T-2:35)
Pressurize liquid hydrogen tank (T-1:57)
Deactivate bi-pod heaters (T-1:52)
Deactivate SRB joint heaters (T-1:00)
Orbiter transfers from ground to internal power (T-0:50 seconds)
Ground Launch Sequencer go for auto sequence start (T-0:31 seconds)
SRB gimbal profile (T-0:21 seconds)
Ignition of three Space Shuttle main engines (T-6.6 seconds)
SRB ignition and liftoff (T-0)

Commander (CDR):       Eileen Collins
Pilot (PLT):                  James Kelly
Payload Commander (MS1):    Soichi Noguchi
Mission Specialist (MS2):       Stephen Robinson
Mission Specialist (MS3):       Andrew Thomas
Mission Specialist (MS4):        Wendy Lawrence
Mission Specialist (MS5):        Charles Camarda


Wednesday, July 13 (*Televised events-times may vary, but all times are EDT.)
5:45 a.m. Crew wakes up
6:15 a.m. Breakfast
*10:15 a.m. Crew eats snack
11:20 a.m. Weather Briefing (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*11:20 a.m. Don flight suits (MS1, MS3, MS4)
*11:30 a.m. Don flight suits (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*12:00 p.m. Depart for launch pad
*12:30 p.m. Arrive at white room and begin ingress
*1:45 p.m. Close crew hatch
*3:51 p.m. Launch


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