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STS-128 Discovery NASA Clears Shuttle Discovery for Tuesday Launch
Posted 23 August 2009 - 08:20 PM
Sun, 23 Aug 2009 04:49:11 PM EDT
Image: NASA/Troy Cryder
NASA's mission management team has given the "go" to continue the launch countdown. They determined there are no issues that would prevent an on-time launch of space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission to the International Space Station on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 1:36 a.m. EDT.
NASA's Management Team Chair, Mike Moses gave an update of the maintenance and repair projects performed preparing the shuttle for launch and said the only concern at this point was the possible inclement weather just before the external tank is fueled.
"I'm really pleased to report that launch countdown activities are proceeding nominally and we working no issues," said Launch Director Pete Nickolenko.
Nickolenko reported that there are four launch attempts available within five days from Aug. 25 through Aug. 30 and he was "96 percent certain" of being able to launch in this time frame.
The forecast for launch has improved to 80 percent for favorable weather at time of liftoff according to Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters. There is a possibility that storms could form within 5 miles of Launch Pad 39A just before fueling of the external tank violating constraints but the sea breezes could move them out of the area in time.
Rollback of the rotating service structure that protects the shuttle before launch is planned for 5 a.m. Monday and fueling of the external tank is scheduled to begin at 4:11 p.m.
Discovery Readies for Station Resupply Flight
Space shuttle Discovery will carry the Leonardo supply module to the International Space Station during STS-128, along with a new crew member for the station, Nicole Stott.
Commanded by veteran astronaut Rick "C.J." Sturckow, the STS-128 mission crew will deliver refrigerator-sized racks full of equipment, including the COLBERT treadmill, an exercise device named after comedian Stephen Colbert.
Stott will take the place of Tim Kopra, who moved into the station during STS-127. Pilot Kevin Ford and Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez, John "Danny" Olivas and Sweden's Christer Fuglesang round out the crew.
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