Space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 crew members depart NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in a T-38 training jet. The six-member crew will wait until at least Nov. 30 to launch to the International Space Station because a leak was detected at the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate (GUCP) while Discovery's external fuel tank was being loaded for launch on Nov. 5. The GUCP is an attachment point between the external tank and a pipe that carries gaseous hydrogen safely away from the shuttle to the flare stack, where it is burned off. Engineers and managers also will evaluate a crack in the foam on the external tank.
During the 11-day mission, STS-133 will deliver the Permanent Multipurpose Module, packed with supplies and critical spare parts, as well as Robonaut 2, to the orbiting laboratory. Discovery, which will fly its 39th mission, is scheduled to be retired following STS-133. This will be the 133rd Space Shuttle Program mission and the 35th shuttle voyage to the space station. For more information on STS-133, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts133/. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett