Feeds

Discovery gears up for rehearsal launch

Testing all systems

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The space shuttle Discovery is primed and ready for launch. It arrived on the launchpad this weekend, and engineers are getting ready for a dress rehearsal of the launch. The shuttle is due to blast off for the International Space Station on October 23 under the designation STS-120.

The Shuttle Discovery gets ready for launch. Credit: NASA

The mission will see Discovery deliver vital parts and equipment to the space station. The crew will add a module (called the Harmony module, or Node 2) to the ISS that will serve as a port for Japanese and European laboratories. They will also move the station's solar arrays to their permanent position, and redeploy them in place.

"STS-120 is such a cool mission," said Commander Pam Melroy. "Node 2 is the expansion of the space station’s capability to bring international laboratories up. It’s the expansion of our capability to carry additional people. It has additional life support equipment that will allow us to expand out beyond a three-person crew. It’s this big boost in the capability which is really exciting."

The mission will also handle a crew rotation. Mission specialist Daniel Tani will fly up on Discovery and remain on board the ISS, while current resident and flight engineer Clayton Anderson will fly home. Tani is set to return to Earth with the crew of mission STS-122, which is scheduled to launch December 6.

The mission will be led by Commander Pam Melroy, and piloted by George Zamka. Other crew members include mission specialists Scott Parazynski, Stephanie Wilson, Doug Wheelock and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency.

NASA has also assigned the crew for the next mission on the shuttle Endeavour, set to lift off in September 2008. This flight, STS-126, will deliver pieces of the space station that will make it possible for much larger crews to stay aloft. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.