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Discovery Space Shuttle RSS Retraction

Discovery Space Shuttle RSS Retraction, Feb 23 2011


Discovery Space Shuttle on launch pad 39A, followed by the RSS retraction.





After 3 months of waiting, anticipating and hoping….the STS-133 #NASATweetUp gathered again at the, by now, familiar grounds of the Kennedy Space Center.  Since the space shuttles can only launch during specific windows of opportunity, it was crucial that the conditions prove favorable for the much awaited for launch.

The #NASATweetUp participants met at the usual tent area near the Vehicle Assembly Building, and we were shuttled (pun intended) in a bus to the launch pad 39 A area to witness the impressive RSS Retraction.   As mentioned in the previous blog, the RSS retracts up to several hours before the launch is scheduled. Cameras, tripods, and emotions were everywhere as we watched in awe the shuttle finally reveal itself once the Rotating Service Structure retracts away from it!


Space Shuttle Discover with RSS retracted

Photo courtesy of Sean Sullivan, www.Photo.BlueBrook.com

Watching it retract at night time, all lit up like a vision out of space, was more amazing than what I imagined it to be! As the process for the  Rotating Service Structure, takes a long time in the video I sped it up so you get the full spectacular effect in just under a minute.

How did the Discovery made it to the Launch Pad?

Discovery’s shortest journey of its mission (about 3.4 miles) started from the Vehicle Assembly Building at 7:58 PM EST on January 31. Though very short, the journey took several hours before the shuttle was secured on the pad. It has been standing here, waiting patiently for its February 24 scheduled final launch to the International Space Station.

The excitement built among the participating “tweeps’, and we were all anxious to finally see this glorious shuttle make its final launch into space the following day!

Up next is the Launch of Discovery Space Shuttle video.



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