Space Shuttle Discovery Prepares for Flight

Space Shuttle Program managers are readying the Space Shuttle Discover for its upcoming flight on May 31 to the International Space Station. Hailed as the 26th U.S. mission to the International Space Station. The shuttle’s seven member crew will deliver the Japanese Pressurized Module, the station’s largest science laboratory as well as the lab’s robotic arm system that supports operations outside of Kibo.

The lab’s logistics module, which was installed in a temporary location during STS-123 in March, will be attached to the new lab.On May 6-9, the seven-member STS-124 crew participated in the terminal countdown demonstration test at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. The highlight of the three-day training event was a fully suited dress rehearsal for their upcoming launch.

This past Saturday, the Space Shuttle Discovery was hauled into a massive hangar by NASA engineers to join its fuel tank and twin rocket boosters.

And then today and tomorrow, the Discovery will go through a program-level Flight Readiness Review, which ultimately sets the stage for an executive-level Flight Readiness Review scheduled for Monday, May 19.

If all goes well, that review is expected to include the selection of an official launch date. Discovery is targeted to launch May 31 at 5:02 p.m. EDT.

The seven-member crew of STS-124 Space Shuttle Discovery includes Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Ken Ham, Mission Specialists Karen Nyberg, Ron Garan, Mike Fossum, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and Greg Chamitoff. Chamitoff will replace Expedition 16/17 Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman and remain aboard the station as a member of the Expedition 17 crew. Reisman will return to Earth with the STS-124 crew.


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