Space shuttle Discovery's next mission to launch on March 11
Washington, March 7 (ANI): NASA has announced the official launch date for space shuttle Discovery's STS-119 mission as March 11.
According to a review of Discovery's readiness for flight, NASA managers have announced that Commander Lee Archambault and his six crewmates would be lifting off to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 11.
The launch date was announced following a Flight Readiness Review.
During the meeting, top NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle's equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight.
The review included a formal presentation of the shuttle's flow control valve work, initiated after NASA identified damage to a valve on shuttle Endeavour during its November 2008 flight.
Using detailed inspections, there are three valves that have been cleared of crack indications now installed in Discovery to support the STS-119 mission.
The three flow control valves, one for each space shuttle main engine, channel gaseous hydrogen from the engines through the main propulsion system and back to the external fuel tank.
This flow regulation maintains the tank's structural integrity and delivers liquid hydrogen to the engines at the correct pressure.
Discovery's STS-119 flight will deliver the space station's fourth and final set of solar array wings, completing the station's truss, or backbone.
The arrays will provide the electricity to fully power science experiments and support the station's expanded crew of six in May.
The 14-day mission will feature four spacewalks to help install the S6 truss segment to the starboard, or right, side of the station and the deployment of its solar arrays.
The flight will also replace a failed unit for a system that converts urine to potable water.(ANI)