(Editor’s Note: Ken Kremer is at the Kennedy Space Center for Universe Today covering the launch of Discovery)
It was a glorious Easter Sunday morning here at the Kennedy Space Center as Space Shuttle Discovery was unveiled to the clear blue skies of the heavens above. The Rotating Service Structure (RSS) was rolled back this Sunday morning at 9:30 AM to reveal Discovery in anticipation of launch on Monday morning, Apr. 5 at 6:21 AM EDT The rollback of the giant cocoon like structure takes about 25 minutes.
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This evening the Shuttle Mission management team gave the “GO” to begin the fueling of the cryogenic propellants. Over a half million pounds of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen is being loaded into the shuttle’s huge orange colored External Tank as of 9:28 PM tonight !
The loading of fuel takes about three hours.
Final preparations are underway for the STS 131 mission which is scheduled to last 13 days and includes 3 spacewalks. The crew of 7 astronauts will deliver the Leonardo re-supply module loaded with tons of food, spare parts and science equipment.
Live launch coverage will kick off on NASA TV and on NASA’s Launch Blog at 1:15 a.m. Monday. The Launch Blog can be found at www.nasa.gov/launch and NASA TV at www.nasa.gov/ntv.