Discovery Unveiled on Easter Sunday to the Heavens Above

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(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.

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.

Credit: Alan Walters for Universe Today. See awaltersphoto.com
Credit: Alan Walters for Universe Today. See awaltersphoto.com
Lone bird stands guard protecting Discovery from the media horde of a few hundred photo journalists today at Launch Pad 39 A at KSC. Credit: Ken Kremer
Ken Kremer and Shuttle Discovery on April 4 at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Alan Walters for Universe Today. See awaltersphoto.com
Alan Walters and Shuttle Discovery on April 4 at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Alan Walters for Universe Today. See awaltersphoto.com
Ken Kremer

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, research scientist, freelance science journalist (KSC area,FL) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calendars including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, FOX, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now, Science and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, NASA Wallops, NASA Michoud/Stennis/Langley and on over 80 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight - www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter

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