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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- On Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians reattach the vent line to the ground umbilical carrier plate (GUCP) on space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank. A hydrogen gas leak at that location during tanking for Discovery's STS-133 mission to the International Space Station caused the launch attempt to be scrubbed Nov. 5.     The GUCP is the overboard vent to the pad and the flame stack where the excess hydrogen is burned off. Discovery's next launch attempt is no earlier than Nov. 30 at 4:02 a.m. EST. For more information on STS-133, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts133/. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky KSC-2010-5707

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- On Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians reattach the vent line to the ground umbilical carrier plate (GUCP) on space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank. A hydrogen gas leak at that location during tanking for Discovery's STS-133 mission to the International Space Station caused the launch attempt to be scrubbed Nov. 5. The GUCP is the overboard vent to the pad and the flame stack where the excess hydrogen is burned off. Discovery's next launch attempt is no earlier than Nov. 30 at 4:02 a.m. EST. For more information on STS-133, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts133/. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky KSC-2010-5707

 
 
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- On Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians reattach the vent line to the ground umbilical carrier plate (GUCP) on space shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank. A hydrogen gas leak at that location during tanking for Discovery's STS-133 mission to the International Space Station caused the launch attempt to be scrubbed Nov. 5. The GUCP is the overboard vent to the pad and the flame stack where the excess hydrogen is burned off. Discovery's next launch attempt is no earlier than Nov. 30 at 4:02 a.m. EST. For more information on STS-133, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts133/. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

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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17/11/2010
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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