NASA's space shuttle Discovery set for final trip to launch pad

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., 27 Jan. 2011. Six astronauts are set to launch aboard the space shuttle Discovery on Feb. 24 for the STS-133 mission to the International Space Station -- the final scheduled flight for Discovery before it is retired.

Posted by John McHale
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., 27 Jan. 2011. Six astronauts are set to launch aboard the space shuttle Discovery on Feb. 24 for the STS-133 mission to the International Space Station -- the final scheduled flight for Discovery before it is retired.
The 11-day mission will be the 35th flight to the station and the 39th flight for Discovery. The mission will deliver and install the Permanent Multipurpose Module; critical spare components for the space station; and the Express Logistics Carrier 4 -- an external platform that holds large equipment. Discovery also will deliver Robonaut 2, or R2, to become a permanent resident of the station as the first human-like robot in space.
Discovery's first launch attempt on Nov. 5, 2010, was scrubbed because of a gaseous hydrogen leak at the external fuel tank's ground umbilical carrier plate. The spacecraft was rolled off of the launch pad on Dec. 21, 2010, to allow technicians to perform X-ray type scans and repairs to the shuttle's external tank.
Discovery's first motion out toward the launch pad is scheduled for 8 p.m. Est., on Jan. 31. NASA Television will provide live coverage of the shuttle's rollout. NASA TV's Video File will broadcast highlights of the move. The shuttle's 3.4-mile journey atop a giant crawler-transporter is expected to take approximately six hours
For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv. For more information about the STS-133 mission and crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle.

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