STS-124 Launch Rehearsal

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STS-124 Launch Rehearsal
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NARRATOR: The crew of space shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to take part in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test on May 6.

Space Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach and Discovery's Flow Director Stephanie Stilson warmly greeted the astronauts at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility.

Commander Mark Kelly leads the crew that includes Pilot Ken Ham, Mission Specialists Karen Nyberg, Mike Fossum, Greg Chamitoff, Ron Garan and Japanese astronaut, Aki Hoshide.

The crew paused briefly to speak to the media.

COMMANDER MARK KELLY: "But it's great to see the vehicle at the pad. The folks here at KSC worked really, really hard for many months to get the space shuttle ready for launch. "

NARRATOR: During the three days of training, Kelly and Ham made several flights in the Shuttle Training Aircraft to simulate shuttle landings on the 3-mile-long runway the orbiters' land on when returning from space.

Emergency exit training at the launch pad included practice driving M-113 armored personnel carriers, developed to help them leave the area quickly and safely in the unlikely event of an emergency.

On the agenda was a trip to the 195-foot level of launch pad 39A for briefings at the slidewire baskets and in the safety bunker that are both part of the pad's emergency exit system.

Later, outfitted in clean-room bunny suits, the crew inspected Discovery's cargo, the Japanese Kibo Laboratory Pressurized Module, stowed securely inside its payload bay.

On the final day at Kennedy, the astronauts suited up in their custom-fitted orange flight gear for a full launch dress rehearsal.

Riding in NASA's silver Astrovan, they arrived at the pad's White Room and climbed into the orbiter.

There the crew took part in a simulated launch countdown that took them to the moment just before liftoff.

The final exercise included a mock launch pad emergency exit by jumping into the slidewire baskets.

The astronauts returned to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to continue training.

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