At the Hypergolic Maintenance Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, preparations are under way to move the Forward Reaction Control System, or FRCS, for space shuttle Discovery to Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3.
Discovery is being prepared for the STS-131 mission, the 33rd flight to the International Space Station. The FRCS provides the thrust for attitude (rotational) maneuvers (pitch, yaw and roll) and for small velocity changes along the orbiter axis (translation maneuvers). The seven-member STS-131 crew will deliver a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with resupply stowage platforms and racks to be transferred to locations around the station. Three spacewalks will include work to attach a spare ammonia tank assembly to the station's exterior and return a European experiment from outside the station's Columbus module. Discovery's launch is targeted for March 18, 2010. For information on the STS-131 mission and crew, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts131/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder