At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a left-side main separation bolt attaches the bottom of space shuttle Discovery to its external fuel tank in the Vehicle Assembly Building. As technicians were attaching the bolt Sept. 10, a bolt nut slipped back into Discovery's aft compartment. To retrieve it, technicians entered Discovery’s aft section through an access door. They then moved the nut back into position to finish attaching the bolt, which is used to separate Discovery from the external tank once the shuttle is in orbit. Discovery is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39A later this month for its STS-133 launch to the International Space Station.
Targeted to lift off Nov. 1, Discovery will take the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) packed with supplies and critical spare parts, as well as Robonaut 2 (R2) to the station. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis