Shuttle Engineers to Fit Discovery to New External Tank
Suspended from an overhead crane in the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the orbiter Discovery is lowered toward the Solid Rocket Booster and External Tank (seen below) already stacked on the top of the Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP).
Credit: NASA/KSC.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Kennedy Space Center workers are preparing this morning to outfit shuttle Discovery with a new fuel tank.

Discovery is resting this morning in the center aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building, awaiting a lift from a monstrous overhead crane.

Crane workers will hoist Discovery into position to mount the spaceship to a new stack of external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters.

The operation is expected to take most of the day once it begins. Discovery remains scheduled to return to the launch pad in a week for a launch no earlier than July 13.

Discovery was brought back to the VAB to be mounted to a new tank, which has been modified to solve issues related to ice debris and a problematic fuel valve.

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