Ruimtevaart en Technologie

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Space Shuttle Discovery Returns to Launch Pad

Space Shuttle Discovery has returned to Launch Pad 39B after a 10-hour journey from Kennedy Space Center’s 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), where it recently received an upgraded External Tank with added safety features. Inside the VAB, orbiter Discovery was removed from its original tank and twin Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) and attached instead to External Tank 121 and its pair of boosters. The newer tank — first intended to fly with Atlantis on STS-121 — has an additional heater to reduce the potential for ice and frost buildup.

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