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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - In Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the gaseous nitrogen tank has been removed from space shuttle Discovery's payload bay during processing for the shuttle's STS-131 mission to the International Space Station.    The tanks are used for atmosphere conditioning and for moving potable water in the crew module.  The seven-member STS-131 crew will deliver a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with science racks to be transferred to laboratories on the station.  Three spacewalks will include work to attach a spare ammonia tank assembly to the station's exterior and return a European experiment from outside the station's Columbus module. This will be the 33rd shuttle mission to the station. Launch is targeted for March 18, 2010.  Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder KSC-2009-6102

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - In Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the gaseous nitrogen tank has been removed from space shuttle Discovery's payload bay during processing for the shuttle's STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. The tanks are used for atmosphere conditioning and for moving potable water in the crew module. The seven-member STS-131 crew will deliver a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with science racks to be transferred to laboratories on the station. Three spacewalks will include work to attach a spare ammonia tank assembly to the station's exterior and return a European experiment from outside the station's Columbus module. This will be the 33rd shuttle mission to the station. Launch is targeted for March 18, 2010. Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder KSC-2009-6102

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Summary

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - In Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the gaseous nitrogen tank has been removed from space shuttle Discovery's payload bay during processing for the shuttle's STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. The tanks are used for atmosphere conditioning and for moving potable water in the crew module. The seven-member STS-131 crew will deliver a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with science racks to be transferred to laboratories on the station. Three spacewalks will include work to attach a spare ammonia tank assembly to the station's exterior and return a European experiment from outside the station's Columbus module. This will be the 33rd shuttle mission to the station. Launch is targeted for March 18, 2010. Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder

The Space Shuttle program was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972. The Space Shuttle system—composed of an orbiter launched with two reusable solid rocket boosters and a disposable external fuel tank— carried up to eight astronauts and up to 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). When its mission was complete, the orbiter would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and lands as a glider. Although the concept had been explored since the late 1960s, the program formally commenced in 1972 and was the focus of NASA's manned operations after the final Apollo and Skylab flights in the mid-1970s. It started with the launch of the first shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981, on STS-1. and finished with its last mission, STS-135 flown by Atlantis, in July 2011.

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Date

03/11/2009
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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