Discovery Readied for Launch Pad

The Discovery astronauts take a break from training to pose for their STS-131 crew portrait. Seated are Commander Alan Poindexter (right) and Pilot James P. Dutton Jr.; Pictured from the left are Mission Specialists Rick Mastracchio, Stephanie Wilson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki and NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson.

Fri, 26 Feb 2010 02:37:18 PM GMT+0000

With rollout to Launch Pad 39A set for next week, technicians in the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will continue working today and throughout the weekend on the connections between space shuttle Discovery and its external fuel tank.

The team completed installing the tank’s camera, which is used to take images as it falls away from the shuttle after main engine cutoff and the shuttle heads into space.

The STS-131 astronauts are undergoing systems training today at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California before heading back to their home base in Houston for the weekend. They will fly to Kennedy next week to participate in the standard prelaunch training called the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test.

Discovery is on track to head to the launch pad next Tuesday, beginning its slow roll at 12:01 a.m. EST. Launch is targeted for April 5.

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