Space Shuttle Discovery on Launch Pad 39B
May 2nd, 2005
going vab opf pad museum class rpsf assembly marine disassembly back

Discovery (STS-114) sits on Pad 39B the week its
May launch was postponed to the middle of July

Rotating Service Structure surrounds Discovery

Cathy, Jon, Lisa, and David are ready to undergo
a launch pad operations overview

Discovery sits on a Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP)

Pad surface flame deflector trench

Protects the pad surface from intense heat of launch

Flame trench is 490ft long, 58ft wide & 40ft high

Two movable flame deflectors on each side
of the flame trench

View through the MLP at the the launch stack

External Tank hydrogen vent line and access arm

The crew pose in front of the stack

Red boxes cover explosive nuts which release
the SRBs from the pad at launch

Space Shuttle Main Engines and Tail of Discovery

The camera that broadcasts Space Shuttle
Main Engine startup during launch

Close up of the three shuttle main engines

Jon, Lisa, David, and Cathy under the SSMEs

Launch Pad 39A off in the distance

Swamps and Atlantic Ocean off in the distance

Owl ball to scare away birds in front of the
Sound Suppression Water System storage tank

Emergency Exit System down 1,200ft long wires

Eyeball level with the External Tank

It's a long way down there to bottom

David braves the bouncing scaffolding for a photo op

So, can you guess who's afraid of heights?

Reaction Control System on nose of Discovery

Lisa, Jon, and David control their reaction to
being photographed

Forward single attachment point of the Shuttle
to the External Tank

The reason why your glasses are roped to your head

GOX Vent Arm vents gaseous oxygen from top
of External Tank when in use before launch

David out again on a ledge for a good shot

Favorite crew photo spot by the external tank

Checkout the slidewire emergency escape system

Three persons per basket down a 1,200ft wire
to the emergency shelter bunker way below

Should we catch the elevator down or have a four
person basket race to the shelter below?

Orbiter Access Arm (OAA) allows access to the
orbiter crew hatch

The Astronaut's walkway to enter Discovery

The gang prepares to enter the "White Room"

Behold the pathway to Discovery!

Lisa and Cathy in the "White Room"

Jon and David pose at Discovery's hatch

David takes a shot of the interior of Discovery

Technicians work inside or perhaps are on break

Crawlerway leads back to the VAB 4.24 miles away

Crawler Transporter rests just outside the gate

Thrust Vector Control Hydraulic Servicing to SRB

Giant hinge supports the Rotating Service Structure

RSS provides access & protects the orbiter during
changeout & servicing of payloads at the launch pad

The RSS rotates 120 degrees along a circular
twin-rail track that crosses the flame trench

Crawler Transporters weigh 6 million lbs unloaded
and each track shoe weighs 1 ton

At a max speed of 2mph, the crawler should
not be able to run down the overview crew

The flattop vehicles are about 20ft high, 131ft long
& 114ft wide, about the size of a baseball diamond

I told you we should have filled the tank!

going vab opf pad museum class rpsf assembly marine disassembly back