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STS-124 Astronauts Wrap Up Launch Rehearsal

STS-124 Mission Specialists Karen Nyberg (left) and Ron Garan prepare to depart NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following the terminal countdown demonstration test. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett.
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) May 12, 2008
The seven-member STS-124 crew participated Friday in a launch dress rehearsal at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Part of the three-day terminal countdown demonstration test, the rehearsal called for the astronauts to be fully suited for liftoff as they simulated the final hours of the countdown.

They concluded the event by practicing an emergency escape from Launch Pad 39A.

Friday afternoon, the astronauts returned to their home base at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. They'll report to Kennedy once again a few days before their launch aboard space shuttle Discovery, currently targeted for May 31.

The canister carrying the STS-124 payloads arrived at Launch Pad 39A on April 29 and Discovery rolled out on May 3. Primary payloads are the tour-bus-sized Japanese Experiment Module-Pressurized Module and the lab's robotic arm system.

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Discovery's Payloads Installed
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) May 06, 2008
Space shuttle Discovery made the long, slow trek out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Saturday. Carried by the slow-moving crawler-transporter, the shuttle assembly atop the mobile launcher platform began rolling out of the Vehicle Assembly Building at 11:47 p.m. EDT Friday night and was secured at the pad at 6:06 a.m. The 3.4-mile journey is one of the last major milestones leading up to the launch of Discovery on the STS-124 mission, targeted for May 31.

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