Friday, March 12, 2010

Crew and Shuttle: Preparations Continue - Nasa News Today

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida today, technicians at Launch Pad 39A are loading space shuttle Discovery's solid rocket booster hydraulic power units with hydrazine in preparation for its targeted launch on April 5.

The STS-131 astronauts are reviewing docking and robotics systems manuals at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Commander Alan Poindexter and Pilot James P. Dutton Jr. will wrap up the day with a training run in the Shuttle Training Aircraft at the White Sands Space Harbor in Las Cruces, N.M.

Yesterday, Space Shuttle Program managers wrapped up their review of Discovery's readiness for flight. The meeting was a precursor to the agency's executive-level review on March 26, which will establish a firm launch date for this next mission to the International Space Station.

Space Shuttle Mission: STS-131

STS-131 crew members at Launch Pad 39A.

In the White Room of Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the members of space shuttle Discovery's STS-131 crew take time out from their training for a group portrait. Kneeling, from left, are Commander Alan Poindexter, Pilot James P. Dutton Jr., and Mission Specialist Naoko Yamazaki of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Standing, from left, are Mission Specialists Clayton Anderson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Rick Mastracchio and Stephanie Wilson. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
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› Meet the STS-131 Crew

Discovery and Crew Prepare for STS-131 Mission
Commander Alan Poindexter is set to lead the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery. Joining Poindexter will be Pilot Jim Dutton and Mission Specialists Rick Mastracchio, Clay Anderson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson and Naoko Yamazaki of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Discovery will carry a multi-purpose logistics module filled with science racks for the laboratories aboard the station. The mission has three planned spacewalks, with work to include replacing an ammonia tank assembly, retrieving a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior, and switching out a rate gyro assembly on the S0 segment of the station’s truss structure.

STS-131 will be the 33rd shuttle mission to the station.