STS-119 Discovery (OV-103)
ISS Expedition: XVIII
Primary Payload: ITS S6 Truss & S6 Arrays (15A)
Launch Date: March 15, 2009
Launch Time: 7:43 p.m. EDT
Mission Duration: 13 days
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center
[RTF-1]-STS-114 Discovery • [RTF-2]-STS-121 Discovery
-STS-115 Atlantis • -STS-116 Discovery • -STS-117 Atlantis
-STS-118 Endeavour • -STS-120 Discovery • -STS-122 Atlantis
-STS-123 Endeavour • -STS-124 Discovery • -STS-126 Endeavour
-STS-119 Discovery • -STS-125 Atlantis • -STS-127 Endeavour
-STS-128 Atlantis • -STS-129 Discovery • -STS-130 Endeavour
-STS-131 Atlantis • -STS-132 Discovery • -STS-133 Endeavour
Discovery (STS-119 / 15A) kicks off a five-flight 2009 with its 36th mission to deliver the final pair of U.S. solar arrays to be installed on the starboard end of the station's truss. The truss serves as the backbone support for external equipment and spare components, including the Mobile Base System. Lee Archambault (1998/17/STS-117) will command the 14-day flight that will include four planned spacewalks. Joining him will be pilot Tony Antonelli (2000/18) and mission specialists John Phillips (1996/16/Expedition 11), Steve Swanson (1998/17/STS-117), Joseph Acaba (2004/19), Richard Arnold (2004/19) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata (1992/14). Wakata will replace Sandy Magnus (1996/16) on the station as a flight engineer. STS-119 marks the 28th shuttle flight to the station. » ITS S6 » View installation video » YouTube: NASA ISS S6 Truss Segment » Astronauts' Diverse Backgrounds Reflected in Orbital Souvenirs » STS-119 Flow Valve Fact Sheet (447 Kb PDF) » STS-119 Mission Summary (562 Kb PDF) » STS-119 Fact Sheet (788 Kb PDF) » STS-119 Press Kit (5.06 Mb PDF) » STS-119 Information for Educators
NASA Defers Setting Next Shuttle Launch Date :: Feb. 20, 2009 :: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- During a thorough review of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight, NASA managers decided Friday that more data and possible testing are required before launching the STS-119 mission to the International Space Station. Engineering teams have been working to identify what caused damage to a flow control valve on shuttle Endeavour during its November 2008 flight. "We need to complete more work to have a better understanding before flying," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington who chaired Friday's Flight Readiness Review. "We were not driven by schedule pressure and did the right thing. When we fly, we want to do so with full confidence." The shuttle has three flow control valves that channel gaseous hydrogen from the main engines to the external fuel tank. Teams also have tried to determine the consequences if a valve piece were to break off and strike part of the shuttle and external fuel tank. The Space Shuttle Program has been asked to develop a plan to inspect additional valves similar to those installed on Discovery. This plan will be reviewed during a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Afterward, the program may consider setting a new target launch date.
Space Shuttle Program Completes New Plan for Next Launch :: 02.25.09 :: WASHINGTON -- NASA's Space Shuttle Program has established a plan that could support shuttle Discovery's launch to the International Space Station, tentatively targeted for March 12. An exact target launch date will be determined as work progresses with the shuttle's three gaseous hydrogen flow control valves. At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians have started removing Discovery's three valves, two of which will undergo detailed inspection. Approximately 4,000 images of each valve will be reviewed for evidence of cracks. Valves that have flown fewer times will be installed in Discovery. Engineering teams also will complete analysis and testing to understand the consequences if a valve piece were to break off and strike pressurization lines between the shuttle and external fuel tank. Hardware modifications may be made to the pressurization lines to add extra protection in the unlikely event debris is released. NASA and contractor teams have been working to identify what caused damage to a flow control valve on shuttle Endeavour during its November 2008 flight. Part of the main propulsion system, the valves channel gaseous hydrogen from the main engines to the external tank. After a thorough review of shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight on Feb. 20, NASA managers decided more understanding of the valve work was required before launching Discovery. The Space Shuttle Program will hold a meeting March 4 to review new data and assess ongoing work. Managers then will determine whether to move forward with a flight readiness review March 6. If Discovery's tentative launch date holds, there will be no effect on the next two shuttle launches: STS-125 to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and STS-127 to the International Space Station.
Public Invited to Submit Questions for NASA's Space Shuttle Launch :: 03.02.09 :: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space enthusiasts from across the United States and around the world are invited to submit questions about space shuttle Discovery's upcoming launch, its STS-119 mission to the International Space Station, and NASA space exploration. Questions may be answered on NASA Television during the countdown to launch. Questions can be submitted online at: webcast.ksc.nasa.gov. The STS-119 mission will deliver a new crew member to the space station. The crew also will deliver and install a fourth and final set of large solar arrays that will provide electricity to support six-person station crews beginning in May. Currently, three crew members live aboard the station for several months at a time. Discovery and its seven astronauts are tentatively targeted to launch March 12 at 8:54 p.m. EDT from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA commentary will begin about five hours before liftoff.
NASA Gives 'Go' for Space Shuttle Launch on March 11 :: 03.06.09 :: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA managers completed a review Friday of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight and selected the official launch date for the STS-119 mission. Commander Lee Archambault and his six crewmates are now scheduled to lift off to the International Space Station at 9:20 p.m. EDT on March 11. Discovery's launch date was announced following Friday's Flight Readiness Review. During the meeting, top NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle's equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight. The review included a formal presentation of the shuttle's flow control valve work, initiated after NASA identified damage to a valve on shuttle Endeavour during its November 2008 flight. Using a detailed inspections, there are three valves that have been cleared of crack indications now installed in Discovery to support the STS-119 mission.
» NASA Announces Shuttle Prelaunch Events And Countdown Details :: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Media briefings, events and operating hours for the news center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center are set for the upcoming launch of space shuttle Discovery. The STS-119 mission to the International Space Station is scheduled to lift off at 9:20 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 11. On Sunday, March 8, Discovery's seven astronauts are expected to arrive at Kennedy at approximately 3 p.m. NASA Television will provide live coverage as Commander Lee Archambault briefs reporters. Journalists with Kennedy access badges who plan to cover the event must be at the news center by 1:30 p.m. for transportation to the Shuttle Landing Facility.
» NASA Sets Briefing to Preview Next Space Station Mission :: HOUSTON -- NASA officials will hold a media briefing at 1 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, March 11, to discuss the 19th long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station. The Expedition 19 mission will set the stage for the doubling of station crew members who will live and work in space for as long as six months at a time. The briefing will originate from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and will be broadcast live on NASA Television. Questions will be taken from reporters at participating NASA sites. The participants are: Kirk Shireman, International Space Station deputy program manager; Courtenay McMillian, Expedition 19/20 lead flight director; - Ben Pawlik, Expedition 19/20 increment manager; - Julie Robinson, International Space Station Program scientist. Expedition 19 begins on March 26 when Commander Gennady Padalka of Russia and NASA Flight Engineer Mike Barratt launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-14 vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They will replace Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov, who will return to Earth April 7. Padalka and Barratt's other crewmate is Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, who will travel to the station on space shuttle Discovery, targeted for launch March 11.
» Discovery's Countdown Set to Begin Sunday :: Fri, 06 Mar 2009 12:34:13 PM PST -- With Discovery set for liftoff on March 11 at 9:20 p.m. EDT, the countdown clock will begin at the T-43 hour mark at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Earlier the same day, Discovery's astronauts are scheduled fly from their home base in Houston, arriving mid-afternoon in Florida. Discovery's launch date was announced following Friday's Flight Readiness Review. During the meeting, top NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle's equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight. At post-readiness review news conference on Friday, Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations, said that they completed a very thorough review. "The team came through, worked hard and was efficient. It's time now to step back and think of everything else we need to watch before launch on the 11th. There's no better team than this one and I thank them for putting the right analysis together." On the resolution of the shuttle's flow control valve issue, John Shannon, Space Shuttle Program manager said, "This is one of those problems requiring a lot of work. It was a little premature before today. The signs were there that we were safe, but the teams went off and came up with definitive data to prove it." Mike Leinbach, Space Shuttle launch director, said that from a processing standpoint, the shuttle is in good shape. "It feels good to be here with a firm launch date. I saw a lot of people after the meeting and the mood is really upbeat," he added.
» Meet the Launch Team
Launch Scrubbed for Wednesday :: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 10:48:47 AM PST :: The STS-119 launch was scrubbed at 2:37 p.m. EDT due to a hydrogen leak in a Liquid Hydrogen vent line between the shuttle and the external tank. The launch team is currently beginning the process of draining the external fuel tank. We'll turn around for launch attempt tomorrow at 8:54 p.m. EDT.
NASA Shuttle Launch Targeted for No Earlier Than March 15 :: 03.11.09 :: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Discovery's launch to the International Space Station now is targeted for no earlier than March 15. NASA managers postponed Wednesday's planned liftoff due to a leak associated with the gaseous hydrogen venting system outside the external fuel tank. The system is used to carry excess hydrogen safely away from the launch pad. Liftoff on March 15 would be at 7:43 p.m. EDT. The exact launch date is dependent on the work necessary to repair the problem. Managers will meet Thursday at 4 p.m. to further assess the troubleshooting plan.
Tank Topped Off, No Leak Found :: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 08:28:59 AM PST :: Launch controllers found no signs of a leak when they opened the valve that releases evaporating hydrogen from Discovery's external fuel tank into a system that carries it safely away from the shuttle. With the fueling of the tank going well, the countdown is proceeding toward an on-time liftoff of Discovery on STS-119 this evening at 7:43 p.m. The vent line that controllers are watching was repaired following a leak that developed during Wednesday's fueling. That countdown was called off so technicians could inspect and repair a valve on the vent line. The vent line connects to the external tank during the countdown and falls away when the shuttle lifts off. The weather forecast remains at an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions at launch time.
» STS-119 Launch Blog :: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 08:22:00 AM PST :: NASA's Launch Blog will begin live countdown coverage this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. EDT. We hope you'll join us for the liftoff of space shuttle Discovery on its STS-119 mission.
» northanger @ 11:59am :: i think the real-time countdown clock is off an hour — it's driving me mad i tell you! prolly just have to reset my stupid button or something.
» northanger @ 12:21am :: ॐ ~ the official countdown clock is very calming, however.
» 7:52:07 pm EDT :: Main Engine Cut Off (MECO)
thanks to quinn cummings, marsha mason & richard dreyfuss saying aum i think at 3:28pm… i meditated. i am relaxed, i am calm, i am confident.