Mon, May 09, 2005
Trade You Even
NASA managers decided Friday to switch external fuel tanks for
the upcoming space shuttle missions. They came to the conclusion
that it would be best to make safety modifications to the tank that
is not attached to Discovery.
"We're moving forward, targeting the July window," Kennedy Space
Center spokesman Michael Rein said to Florida Today.
After completing additional tanking tests, Discovery will be
brought back to the assembly building around the end of the month.
It will be removed from the external tank and solid rocket boosters
and then attached to the tank and boosters originally planned for
STS-121. (photo shows tank being delivered in March)
Work is progressing on the STS-121 external tank and boosters
now being prepared for Discovery. A new heater modification kit is
being installed to reduce the potential for ice and frost buildup.
Tanking tests will be repeated when it returns to the launch pad in
sometime in June.
A heater kit will be installed on the Discovery's current tank
and rockets which will then be prepared for a September launch of
Atlantis. Atlantis will be on standby in case it is needed for a
rescue attempt if there is a problem with Discovery.
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