Wednesday, January 14, 2009

445p 1/14 Update: Shuttle Discovery hauled to launch pad

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CBS NEWS STS-119 STATUS REPORT: 03
Posted: 4:20 PM, 1/14/09

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Analyst

Changes and additions:

   SR-01 (12/04/08): Setting up initial STS-119 page
   SR-02 (01/02/09): Updating launch windows, flight plan
   SR-03 (01/14/09): Shuttle Discovery moved to launch pad

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4:20 PM, 1/14/09, Update: Shuttle Discovery moved to launch pad

The Space shuttle Discovery was hauled from the Vehicle Assembly Building to pad 39A today, setting the stage for launch Feb. 12 on a space station assembly mission, the 125th in shuttle history and the first of five planned for 2009.

The primary goals of the four-spacewalk mission are to install a final set of solar arrays on the right side of the lab's main power truss; to perform get-ahead tasks for upcoming assembly flights; to deliver Japan's first long-duration station crew member; and to bring flight engineer Sandra Magnus back to Earth after three months in space.

Bolted to a mobile launch platform carried by a powerful Apollo-era crawler-transporter, Discovery began the 3.2-mile trip to the pad at 5:17 a.m. and was "hard down" atop the oceanside firing stand at 12:16 p.m.

Discovery's crew - commander Lee Archambault, pilot Dominic "Tony" Antonelli, John Phillips, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and spacewalkers Steven Swanson, Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold - plans to fly to the Kennedy Space Center on Monday for emergency training and to strap in for a dress-rehearsal countdown Thursday.

The astronauts will field questions from reporters on arrival Monday in their final pre-launch news conference. The media session at the shuttle landing strip normally is held later at the launch pad, but it was moved to Monday because of a tight schedule and the presidential inauguration Tuesday.

Shuttle program managers plan to review Discovery's flight readiness Feb. 21 and 22 and senior managers will hold an executive-level review Feb. 3 to set an official launch date. As of this writing, Discovery is on track for launch at 7:32:10 a.m. Feb. 12. Landing is targeted for around 1:48 a.m. on Feb. 26.

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Quick-Launch Web Links:

CBS News STS-119 Status Reports:
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/current.html

CBS News STS-119 Quick-Look Page:
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/currentglance.html

NASA ISS Expeditions Page:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/index.html

NASA Shuttle Web: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/index.html
NASA Station Web: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/index.html
Spaceflight Now: http://spaceflightnow.com/index.html
GoogleSatTrack: http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/tracking/

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