Team members stationed at consoles in the Launch Control Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida monitor space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank as it is loaded with more than 535,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants. During today's tanking test, the team is paying particular attention to the external tank's ribbed intertank region. Beginning tomorrow, engineers will evaluate data on 21-foot-long, U-shaped aluminum brackets, called stringers, and the newly replaced ground umbilical carrier plate (GUCP).
Discovery's first launch attempt for STS-133 was scrubbed in early November due to a hydrogen gas leak at the GUCP. In order to perform additional analysis on the tank, Discovery will be rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building, a move that is planned for next week. The next launch opportunity is no earlier than Feb. 3, 2011. For more information on STS-133, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts133/. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston