At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A, technicians are completing repairs on space shuttle Discovery’s ground umbilical carrier plate (GUCP). On Nov. 17, the hydrogen vent line was reattached to the GUCP. That vent pipe carries excess hydrogen gas safely away from Discovery to a flare stack, where it is burned off. Teams will analyze the hardware fittings and pressure check the connections to look for any possible leaks. Discovery’s next launch window for STS-133 extends from Nov. 30 through Dec. 6, 2010. Whether the shuttle will be able to launch in this window has been placed in doubt as technicians are finding numerous cracks on the ET and the type of repairs needed have never been attempted at the launch pad. It still remains to be seen if this is feasible.
Mission managers at NASA are scheduling a press conference to be held at 6 p.m. EDT on Monday, Nov. 22. The press conference will be held to discuss the problems facing the next space shuttle mission, STS-133. The event will be webcast on NASAT-TV.