Feeds

Discovery crawls to launch pad

Finally poised for 24 February launch

Security for virtualized datacentres

Space shuttle Discovery reached Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A this morning after a seven-hour, 3.4 mile crawl from the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Space shuttle Discovery during its crawl to the launch pad. Pic: NASA

The venerable vehicle is set to blast off on its final mission to the International Space Station on 24 February, carrying essential spares and the converted multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo, which will become permanent extra storage at the orbiting outpost.

On board for the STS-133 mission will be commander Steven Lindsey, pilot Eric Boe, and mission specialists Michael Barratt, Steve Bowen, Alvin Drew, and Nicole Stott.

Bowen has the honour of being the first astronaut to fly two consecutive missions, having last May formed part of Atlantis's STS-132 crew.

He replaces the unfortunate Tim Kopra, who fell off his bike last month and is therefore incapable of "supporting the launch window" – NASA speak for "making the flight".

Discovery has to date flown 38 missions, spending 352 days in space. Its long career – which began in 1984 with the STS-41D mission – includes the first shuttle visit to Russia's Mir orbiting outpost, lifting the Hubble Space Telescope, and delivering the Japanese Kibo laboratory to the ISS.

Speaking of the final flight, commander Steve Lindsey said: “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.” ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.