STS-131 Discovery (OV-103)
Primary Payload: MPLM / LMC
Launch Date: April 5, 2010
Launch Time: 6:21:22 a.m. EDT
Mission Duration: 12 days
Landing Site: KSC
[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 Discovery • -STS-129 Atlantis • -STS-130 Endeavour
-STS-131 Discovery • -STS-132 Atlantis • -STS-134 Endeavour
Discovery (STS-131 / 19A) delivers the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with science racks that will be transferred to laboratories of the station. The 12-day mission will include at least three spacewalks to attach a spare ammonia tank assembly outside the station and return a European experiment that has been outside the Columbus module. Navy Capt. Alan Poindexter (1998/17/STS-122) will command the shuttle Discovery during STS-131, targeted for launch on 05-Apr-2010 @ 6:21:22AM EDT. Air Force Lt. Col. James P. Dutton, Jr. (2004/19/Ascent/Entry CAPCOM: STS-122, 123), will serve as the pilot. Mission specialists are NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio (1996/16/STS-118), Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger (2004/19), Clayton Anderson (1998/17/Expedition 15), Stephanie Wilson (1996/16/STS-121/STS-120) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki (2004/19). Dutton, Metcalf-Lindenburger and Yamazaki will be making their first trip to space.
Team Applauds Beautiful Launch for Discovery :: Mon, 05 Apr 2010 05:21:27 AM PDT :: During a postlaunch news conference at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 6:21 a.m. EDT liftoff of space shuttle Discovery was hailed as a great success. Calling the launch, "a great start to a great mission," Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations, said the successful liftoff was a tribute to the team at Kennedy that got the vehicle ready to fly. Mike Moses, chair of the Mission Management Team, said it was, "a spectacular launch and picture-perfect countdown." He outlined a few minor technical issues that were recorded, but that the spacecraft and crew were ready to start an action-packed mission. Expressing his happiness that they were able to launch on the first attempt, Pete Nickolenko, STS-131 launch director, said he was proud of the teams that make such a difficult job look so easy. Also on hand was Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency President Keiji Tachikawa, who noted that this will be the first time two Japanese astronauts will be in space at the same time, as Discovery's Mission Specialist Naoko Yamazaki joins Expedition 23 crew member Soichi Noguchi for the STS-131 mission. Discovery and crew will spend 13 days in space on their mission to the International Space Station. » STS-131 Playlist » STS-131 Behind The Scenes » Luminious Launch Leads Flight Day 1 Highlights » Astronauts Get Help "Uphill" from Below
Flight Controllers Troubleshooting Ku-Band Antenna :: Mon, 05 Apr 2010 09:28:08 AM PDT :: Shortly after space shuttle Discovery reached orbit today, the shuttle's Ku-Band antenna did not successfully complete its standard initial activation sequence and is not operational at this time. The dish-shaped antenna is used for high data rate communications with the ground, including television, and for the shuttle's radar system that is used during rendezvous with the International Space Station. Discovery can safely rendezvous and dock with the station and successfully complete all of its planned mission objectives without use of the Ku-Band antenna, if needed. The Ku-Band system is one of several shuttle communications systems that can be used for transmission of voice and data to and from the ground. The other systems -- S-band and UHF -- are operating normally. Discovery also has multiple systems that provide backup capability for the rendezvous radar system. In addition, the station has a Ku-band system that also is used for transmission of television to the ground and can be used to transmit shuttle television views after docking. STS-131 Flight controllers are continuing to troubleshoot the problem with Discovery's Ku-band antenna while also formulating plans to conduct the mission without use of the shuttle Ku system if necessary. The Ku antenna is typically used by the crew and the ground teams during flight day 2's inspection using the OBSS. If the Ku still is not working tomorrow, the crew will record all of the inspection video and play it back after docking with the station, using the station's Ku antenna. The crew will monitor the video in real time tomorrow and will note the time stamps of any areas of concern.
» STS-131 Press Kit (7.9 Mb PDF) » STS-131 Mission Summary (890 Kb PDF)
STS-131 MCC Status Report #01 :: 2 p.m. CDT Monday, April 5, 2010 :: HOUSTON – Space shuttle Discovery, carrying a crew of seven and supplies and equipment for the International Space Station, launched at 5:21 a.m. CDT Monday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin a three-spacewalk resupply mission.
Commander Alan G. Poindexter, Pilot James P. Dutton Jr. and Mission Specialists Clayton Anderson, Rick Mastracchio, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson and Naoko Yamazaki of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency began their 13-day mission with an 8.5-minute dash to orbit to begin the pursuit of the space station. Aboard the station waiting to welcome Discovery crew members are Expedition 23 Commander Oleg Kotov and Russian Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko, Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and NASA Flight Engineers T.J. Creamer and Tracy Caldwell Dyson. The Expedition crew will welcome the Discovery astronauts to the orbiting laboratory early Wednesday.
Discovery’s crew deployed the Ku-Band antenna shortly after reaching orbit and checked out its systems. The antenna did not successfully complete its standard initial activation sequence and is not operational at this time. The dish-shaped antenna is used for high data rate communications with the ground, including television, and for the shuttle's radar system that is used during rendezvous with the station. Loss of the antenna operations will not impact mission safety or success. Discovery can safely rendezvous and dock with the station and successfully complete all of its planned mission objectives without use of the Ku-Band antenna, if needed. The Ku-Band system is one of several shuttle communications systems that can be used for transmission of voice and data to and from the ground. Discovery also has multiple systems that provide backup capability for the rendezvous radar system. STS-131 flight controllers are continuing to troubleshoot the problem with Discovery's Ku-Band antenna while also formulating plans to conduct the mission without use of the shuttle Ku system if necessary. The crew began a sleep period at 11:21 a.m. and is scheduled to be awakened at 7:21 p.m. to begin the mission's first full day in orbit. The day will focus on using the robotic arm and the Orbital Boom Sensor System extension to inspect the reinforced carbon-carbon on the leading edges of the shuttle’s wings and nose cap. Video of that inspection will be recorded aboard Discovery and transmitted to the ground after the shuttle docks with the station. Mastracchio and Anderson will prepare the spacesuits they will wear for their three planned spacewalks. Docking preparations will occupy the remainder of the crew’s day. The next shuttle status report will be issued after crew wakeup or earlier if warranted.