The space shuttle Discovery rolls out to the launch pad after two months of delays.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
Discover Heads to Launch Pad Just in Time
News story originally written on November 15, 1999
Finally, after two months of delays, the space shuttle Discovery is on the launch pad.
Wiring problems and other difficulties have set back the initial launch date to December 6th.
Now that the shuttle is on the launch pad, NASA is in final preparations before the launch.
"We are in the business of launching shuttles," NASA spokesman Joel Wells said.
"Although everyone at Kennedy knows that safety is first, it is good to see vehicles
moving around, because that is the business that we are in."
The good news couldn't have come at a better time. The Hubble Space Telescope is now facing
problems that would not have occurred if the shuttle had launched on time. The telescope has 6 gyros, which keep
the spacecraft in position for measurements. Four of these gyros have malfunctioned, forcing the Hubble
into safe mode. This means that it can no longer be used for observations until it is fixed.
"The telescope is in good shape, we're getting telemetry and everything else is
showing good indications that the spacecraft is in good health," said Don
Savage from NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Although the telescope is not in any danger, scientists will lose 6 weeks of information. NASA believes
that after astronauts fix the Hubble, it should be ready for use in January.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
April 24, 1990, marked the beginning of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This powerful observatory has been the world's eyes in space, peering into the deepest parts of the Universe. NASA and the scientific...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more
During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more