At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians plan to install reference dots on space shuttle Discovery's ground umbilical carrier plate, or GUCP, to monitor for movement during tanking. The work was expected to be completed yesterday, but was delayed by rain.
The shuttle's crew is practicing on-orbit tasks today in the motion base simulator at the astronauts' training base at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Discovery's launch is currently targeted for no earlier than Dec. 17, after shuttle managers determined more tests and analysis are needed.
The Program Requirements Control Board reviewed on Nov. 23 repairs and engineering evaluations associated with cracks on two 21-foot-long, U-shaped aluminum brackets, called stringers, on the shuttle's external tank. Managers decided the analysis and tests required to launch Discovery safely are not complete. The work will continue through this week.
The next status review by the PRCB will be Thursday, Dec. 2. If managers clear Discovery for launch on Dec. 17, the preferred time is about 8:51 p.m. EST.