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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


On Tuesday Space shuttle Discovery's crew arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to start a week of training for their upcoming STS-133 mission.

The six astronauts are doing the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test or TCDT.

It's a modified Gulfstream II business jet that mimics the shuttle's handling during the final phase of landing.

Training will include emergency exit training from Launch Pad 39A and will conclude Friday with a dress rehearsal of launch procedures.


At the end of the week, the crew will board space shuttle Discovery just as they will on launch day, with the launch and flight controllers in Florida and Houston watching over the systems and preparations.

The countdown will end just before main engine start, giving the astronauts a chance to practice for an emergency.

After the rehearsal, the astronauts will return to their training facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Discovery and its crew are targeted for launch on November 1 at 4:40 p.m. from Kennedy Space Center.

The astronauts, led by veteran Commander Steve Lindsey, flew to KSC Tuesday evening to begin the standard training cycle leading up to the launch.