Feeds

Pesky weather grounds Discovery

Earliest launch tomorrow for shuttle's swansong

Business security measures using SSL

Space shuttle Discovery will not now launch on its STS-133 mission to the International Space Station until tomorrow (Friday) at the earliest.

Discovery on Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center The venerable vehicle's swansong has has been postponed due to the weather at Kennedy Space Center, NASA explains. If the agency does green light a lift-off for tomorrow, it'll be at 19:03 GMT.

NASA describes Discovery as a "workhorse, ambassador, scientist and equal opportunity emissary", which has so far spent 352 days in space on 38 missions.

Highlights of its long career, which began in 1984 with the STS-41D mission, include the first shuttle visit to Russia's Mir orbiting outpost, lifting the Hubble Space Telescope, and delivering the Japanese Kibo laboratory to the ISS.

STS-133 commander Steve Lindsey said of Discovery's final flight: “We’re wrapping up the Space Shuttle Program. Besides the excitement of completing the International Space Station and all the things we do, I hope people get a sense of the history of what the shuttle is and what we’ve done and what’s ending. Because they’ll probably never see anything like it flying again.”

Lindsey, pilot Eric Boe, and mission specialists Alvin Drew, Tim Kopra, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott are tasked with delivering the Permanent Multipurpose Module, formerly known as the the Leonardo Multipurpose Module, for attachment to the ISS's Unity node.

Discovery is also carrying the Express Logistics Carrier 4 and "critical spare components".

A teary-eyed NASA pays tribute to Discovery with a retrospective here and career photo gallery here. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
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
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.