Discovery and Robonaut Unveiled for February 24 Blast Off

The twin brother of the R2 Robonaut awaits launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission, its 39th and final fligh to space. Credit: Ken Kremer

Space Shuttle Discovery is unveiled for blastoff at 4:50 p.m. today, Feb. 24 from launch Pad 39 A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida . This is roughly the moment when Earth’s rotation carries the launch pad into the plane of the orbit of International Space Station (ISS)

The rotating service structure was retracted on Wednesday night starting around 8 p.m. Feb. 23 over about 25 minutes under a light fog.

In a major milestone, the External Fuel tank has been successfully loaded with 535,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen to power Discovery’s three main engines during the 8 1/2-minute climb into orbit. A dangerous leak of gaseous hydrogen is what caused the launch scrub last Nov. 5.(…) Read the rest of Discovery and Robonaut Unveiled for February 24 Blast Off (266 words)

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(C) Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2011. | Permalink | No comment | Add to Post

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