NASA'S Shuttle Discovery At Launch Pad, Liftoff Practice Set
After safely reaching its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Discovery awaits the next major milestone for its upcoming and final mission to the International Space Station, STS-133. Reporters are invited to cover a launch dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT), scheduled at Kennedy from Oct. 12 to 15. Six astronauts are set to launch aboard Discovery on Nov. 1 for the final scheduled flight before the orbiter is retired. To attend TCDT, international journalists must apply by 5 p.m. EDT on Oct. 1 to allow time for processing. U.S. media representatives must apply by Oct. 7.

Discovery arrived at the pad early Tuesday morning on top of a giant crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter left Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at about 7:23 p.m. Monday and travelled less than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The shuttle was secured on the launch pad at 1:49 a.m. Tuesday. The TCDT will provide Discovery’s astronauts and ground crews with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training.

To attend crew arrival, reporters must pick up badges between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the Kennedy Space Center Badging Office on State Road 405. For information about covering these events, including proper attire and meeting locations, credentialed media should visit: The 11-day mission will be the 35th flight to the station and the 39th flight for Discovery. The mission will deliver and install the Permanent Multipurpose Module, the Express Logistics Carrier 4, an external platform that holds large equipment, and critical spare components for the space station. Discovery also will deliver Robonaut 2, or R2, to become a permanent resident of the station as the first human-like robot in space.

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