Space Shuttle Discovery resumes rollout to launch pad
Wednesday, April 6, 2005
NASA reports that the Return to Flight mission has started to roll toward the launch pad once again.
The rollout of the shuttle, scheduled for April 5 around midnight local time, was moved forward as a precaution when a small crack was discovered in the foam insulation on an external fuel tank. Officials decided it was no reason for concern.
As of 2:04 p.m. EDT (18:04 UTC) today the orbiter began inching out of the Vehicle Assembly Building's hanger atin and onto the access road for the launch pad 39B. It is expected to reach the launch pad around 8 p.m. EDT.
The actual launch window for the 114th Space Shuttle flight, and the 31st flight of the orbiter Discovery, will be no earlier than May 15 to June 3, 2005.
The trip to the International Space Station, "Return to Flight" STS-114, will last 12 days and be the first flight since the tragedy in 2003. This flight will test a new robot extension arm, the -built Orbiter Boom Sensor System, used to repair the exterior of the International Space Station.
goes from standing still on the launch pad to more than 17,000 miles per hour in just over eight minutes. That means the astronauts go 2,000 miles per hour faster every minute.
NASA First Motion: Discovery Starts Crawling to the Launch Pad April 6, 2005