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The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-124
Payload: Kibo lab
Launch: May 31, 2008
Time: 5:02 p.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: June 14 @ approx. 11:15 a.m. EDT
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC

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The Crew




Meet the astronauts flying aboard Discovery's STS-124 mission.

Meet the Astronauts

CDR: Mark Kelly

PLT: Ken Ham

MS 1: Karen Nyberg

MS 2: Ron Garan

MS 3: Mike Fossum

MS 4: Akihiko Hoshide

Up: Greg Chamitoff

Down: Garrett Reisman

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Video archive

Jason 2 launch

A ULA Delta 2 rocket launched the Jason 2 oceanography satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 20.

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Jason 2 preview

The joint American and European satellite project called Jason 2 will monitor global seal levels.

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STS-124 space shuttle mission coverage

Extensive video collection covering shuttle Discovery's mission to deliver the Japanese Kibo science lab to the station is available in the archives.

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Discovery rolls out

Discovery travels from the Vehicle Assembly Building to pad 39A in preparation for the STS-124 mission.

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STS-124: The programs

In advance of shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission to the station, managers from both programs discuss the flight.

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STS-124: The mission

A detailed preview of Discovery's mission to deliver Japan's science laboratory Kibo to the station is provided in this briefing.

 Part 1 | Part 2

STS-124: Spacewalks

Three spacewalks are planned during Discovery's STS-124 assembly mission to the station.

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STS-124: The Crew

The Discovery astronauts, led by commander Mark Kelly, meet the press in the traditional pre-flight news conference.

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NASA approves space shuttle launch pad repair plan
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: June 26, 2008

Shuttle program managers today approved a plan to strip away fire bricks from damaged sections of the "flame trench" at launch pad 39A, to erect a steel grid over the exposed concrete back wall and to spray on a thick coating of heat-resistant Fondu Fyre to protect the structure from super-hot shuttle booster exhaust. The work, expected to cost less than $2.7 million, should be complete before the shuttle Atlantis is hauled to the pad at the end of August for blastoff Oct. 8 on a high-profile mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

"We really like the plan ... and we approved it," said shuttle Program Manager John Shannon. "We expect to start moving out on it right away."


Credit: NASA-KSC
SEE IMAGES FROM RECENT TOUR HERE | EARLIER GALLERY HERE

 
During the shuttle Discovery's May 31 launch on a space station assembly mission, more than 3,500 fire bricks lining the northeast wall of the booster side of the flame trench at pad 39A were blasted away. Radar tracking showed some of the bricks shot out of the trench at some 1,000 feet per second, or about 680 mph.

A detailed inspection found that many of the anchor plates used to secure the interlocking fire bricks to the 3-foot-thick concrete back wall were heavily eroded due to decades of exposure to severe pressures and acidic rocket exhaust. In addition, epoxy used to help secure the bricks to the wall was degraded or not consistently applied when the pad was built in the mid 1960s. As a result, the outer brick wall was not tightly locked to the underlying concrete wall it was designed to protect.

"We did find evidence of a fracture joint along a construction joint between the first and second panels of the east wall," said Perry Becker, chief of NASA's structural systems branch at the Kennedy Space Center. "We believe that fracture was brought on by a number of different components. We have found erosion of some anchor plates that were used to secure the brick to the back wall. We've found degradation of the epoxy that was used to adhere the brick to the back wall. We have found evidence of acid deposition in that area. We've found evidence of carbonation in the area, which leeches the calcium out of the concrete, which reduces the strength of the mortar-to-concrete joints."

Becker said the damage that occurred during Discovery's May 31 liftoff apparently happened when a Fondu Fyre patch over an area of earlier erosion ripped away seconds after booster ignition.

"We believe, based on pre- and post-launch pictures, that we liberated a Fondu Fyre patch that was put over an area of fairly significant erosion," he said. "We think the lack of adhesion on that wall resulted in some bowing off the back wall and resulted in the liberation of that patch. Once that patch was liberated at launch, we believe that created the intrusion point that got the hot gas behind the wall."

Once booster exhaust gases got behind the brick layer, "we had impingement on the back wall and with no real adhesive strength left in that local area, we started a localized failure," Becker said. "Due to the interlocking nature of the brick, we believe that led to a cascading failure on down the wall."

To fix the trench, a 25-by-100-foot section of the east wall of the trench will be stripped of bricks, as will a 25-by-80-foot section of the west wall. A steel mesh-like structure will be erected over the exposed backwall and then covered in sprayed-on Fondu Fyre, a material already used to protect the massive flame deflector directly under the shuttle's boosters and main engines.

Working two 10-hour shifts per day, the repair team expects to have the brick removed by July 19. After that, the mesh will be erected and the Fondue Fyre applied. Space shuttle processing manager Rita Willcoxon said the repair should be complete by the third week in August. The shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to be hauled to the pad Aug. 29.

Becker said the repaired flame trench will be closely inspected after every launch, but he expects it to hold up through the end of shuttle operations in 2010.

Nearby pad 39B is believed to have similar weaknesses in its flame trench. But no major repairs are envisioned in the near term. All 10 remaining shuttle flights are scheduled to use pad 39A and while NASA could use pad 39B for a rescue mission should Atlantis suffer major damage during the Hubble flight, a detailed analysis shows no debris from either pad's flame trench could reach a shuttle or cause any damage.

"We also discussed in a lot of detail the transport analysis to see if there was any risk to the space shuttle vehicle from anything liberated from the trench," Shannon said. "We got good results that said that would not be any kind of a risk to the vehicle."

Pad 39B currently is being modified for use by the new Ares 1 rockets that will carry the Orion crew capsules intended to replace the shuttle. A longer-term fix for the flame trench may be required down the road, but no final decisions have been made.

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FOOTAGE OF THE PAD DAMAGE PLAY
VIDEO: SHOW-AND-TELL ON FLAME TRENCH BRICKS PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE DISCOVERY'S LANDING AS SEEN LIVE PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS' POST-LANDING PRESS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAY: VAB ROOF CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAY: RUNWAY CLOSE-UP PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAY: RUNWAY WEST PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAY: RUNWAY EAST PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAY: INFRARED TRACKING CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAY: CAMERA ON NORTH END OF RUNWAY PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 14 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: CBS NEWS AND WCBS RADIO INTERVIEW THE CREW PLAY
VIDEO: HOUSTON GIVES CREW A REPORT ON OBJECT, TAIL PLAY
VIDEO: AREA OF INTEREST ON SHUTTLE TAIL FIN PLAY
VIDEO: OBJECT SEEN FLOATING AWAY FROM THE SHUTTLE PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 13 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 12 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF HEAT-SHIELD INSPECTIONS PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF DISCOVERY'S UNDOCKING PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 11 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: FAREWELL CEREMONY BETWEEN SHUTTLE AND ISS CREWS PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: JOINT CREW IN-FLIGHT NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: KIBO LAB'S ROBOT ARM EXTENDED AND CHECKED OUT PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF ROBOT ARM DEPLOYMENT PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 3 PLAY
VIDEO: ANIMATION OF NITROGEN TANK REPLACEMENT PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: JAPANESE VIP CALL TO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: MEDIA INTERVIEWS WITH SHUTTLE AND ISS CREWS PLAY
VIDEO: KIBO LAB'S ROBOTIC ARM FLEXES FOR FIRST TIME PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF ARM'S FIRST MOVEMENTS PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S DOWNLINKED REPLAY OF LOGISTICS MODULE MOVE PLAY

VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW ASKED TO TAKE PHOTOS OF WING PANELS PLAY
VIDEO: JAPANESE LOGISTICS MODULE MOVED TO KIBO LAB'S ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: STATION'S ROBOT ARM GRAPPLES LOGISTICS MODULE PLAY
VIDEO: MEDIA INTERVIEWS WITH SHUTTLE AND ISS COMMANDERS PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF LOGISTICS MODULE MOVE PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: BUZZ LIGHTYEAR TOY ON THE LOOSE IN SPACE PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS INVITE VIEWERS TO DINNER PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: INSPECTION OF THE PORT-SIDE SOLAR ROTARY JOINT PLAY
VIDEO: FAULTY TV CAMERA REMOVED FROM STATION PORT TRUSS PLAY
VIDEO: THERMAL SLEEVE PLACED ON KIBO TRUNNION PIN PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH LOCKS RELEASED ON KIBO'S UPPER PORT PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS INSTALL PAIR OF TV CAMERAS ON KIBO PLAY
VIDEO: MIKE FOSSUM EMERGES FROM AIRLOCK FOR EVA NO. 2 PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ENTER THE KIBO MODULE FOR FIRST TIME PLAY
VIDEO: CEREMONY BEFORE KIBO HATCH OPENING PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: KIBO SCIENCE LAB ATTACHED TO THE SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: KIBO MODULE UNBERTHED FROM SHUTTLE PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: CLOSEUP INSPECTION OF STATION'S SOLAR ROTARY JOINT PLAY
VIDEO: FOSSUM UNBOLTS LOCKS ON KIBO'S WINDOW COVERINGS PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS REMOVE COVERS ON KIBO'S PORT PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE POWER UMBILICALS UNHOOKED FROM KIBO PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE INSPECTION BOOM RETRIEVED FROM THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKER RON GARAN REMOVES COVER ON BOOM PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKER MIKE FOSSUM FREES ARM'S ELBOW CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: ANIMATION OF KIBO MODULE INSTALLATION PLAY
VIDEO: ANIMATION OF INSPECTION BOOM RETRIEVAL PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S REMARKABLE CAMCORDER FOOTAGE FROM MONDAY PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED INTO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY DOCKS TO SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE PERFORMS RENDEZVOUS BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF PREVIEWING THE DOCKING PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S CAMCORDER FOOTAGE FROM FLIGHT DAY 2 PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ANIMATION OF THE HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED TOUR OF DISCOVERY'S PAYLOAD BAY PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: EXTERNAL TANK SEEN AFTER SEPARATION PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: FRONT CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-12 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 009 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 041 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 049 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 050 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 051 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 054 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 060 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 061 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 063 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 070 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 071 PLAY

VIDEO: LIFTOFF OF DISCOVERY WITH KIBO LAB! PLAY
VIDEO: ONBOARD CAMERA FOOTAGE OF TANK FOAM FALLING PLAY
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY

VIDEO: FINAL PRE-LAUNCH POLLS GIVE "GO" FOR LIFTOFF PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED RECAP OF KIBO LAB'S PRE-FLIGHT CAMPAIGN PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED RECAP OF DISCOVERY'S PRE-FLIGHT CAMPAIGN PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD GANTRY RETRACTED FRIDAY NIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY ROLLBACK PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: BRIEFING ON KIBO LABORATORY FACILITY PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT THE CAPE FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S COUNTDOWN AND WEATHER BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED MISSION PREVIEW MOVIE PLAY

VIDEO: NEWS BRIEFING FOLLOWING FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER MARK KELLY PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH PILOT KEN HAM PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS1 KAREN NYBERG PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS2 RON GARAN PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS3 MIKE FOSSUM PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS4 AKIHIKO HOSHIDE PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS PRACTICE EVACUATION OF SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW BOARDS DISCOVERY FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: TRAINING SESSIONS AT LAUNCH PAD AND BUNKER PLAY
VIDEO: CREW NEWS CONFERENCE AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY

VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY ENCLOSING DISCOVERY PLAY
VIDEO: PAD'S ORBITER ACCESS ARM SWUNG INTO POSITION PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF CRAWLER RETREATING AFTER ROLLOUT PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE DISCOVERY ROLLED TO PAD 39A PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: STS-124 MISSION OVERVIEW PART 1 | PART 2
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: KIBO LABORATORY TRAVELS TO THE LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: TRANSPORT CANISTER WITH KIBO ROTATED UPRIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: CRANE PLACES KIBO MODULE INTO TRANSPORT CANISTER PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO FUEL TANK PLAY
VIDEO: THE SHUTTLE MOVES TO THE VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY
MORE: STS-124 VIDEO COVERAGE
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