Discovery Reaches The Launch Pad

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After safely reaching its launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Discovery awaits the next major milestone for its upcoming and final mission to the International Space Station, STS-133.

Reporters are invited to cover a launch dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT), scheduled at Kennedy from Oct. 12 to 15. Six astronauts are set to launch aboard Discovery on Nov. 1 for the final scheduled flight before the orbiter is retired.

Discovery arrived at the pad early Tuesday morning on top of a giant crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter left Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building at about 7:23 p.m. Monday and travelled less than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The shuttle was secured on the launch pad at 1:49 a.m. Tuesday.

The TCDT will provide Discovery’s astronauts and ground crews with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training.

The following media events are associated with the test. All times are Eastern.

– Oct. 12 – STS-133 crew arrival: The astronauts will arrive at approximately 5 p.m. at the Shuttle Landing Facility and make a statement. The arrival will be broadcast live on NASA Television.

– Oct. 14 – STS-133 crew media availability: The crew will take media questions at Launch Pad 39A at 8:40 a.m. The session will be carried live on NASA TV.

– Oct. 15 – STS-133 crew walkout photo opportunity: The astronauts will depart from the Operations and Checkout Building at 7:45 a.m. in their launch entry suits in preparation for the countdown demonstration test at the launch pad. The walkout will not be broadcast live, but will be part of the NASA TV Video File.

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, the Express Logistics Carrier 4 — an external platform that holds large equipment — and critical spare components for the space station. Discovery also will deliver Robonaut 2, or R2, to become a permanent resident of the station as the first human-like robot in space.

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

For more information about the STS-133 mission and crew, visit:

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