Aboard the shuttle
will be the treadmill
named after comedian Stephen Colbert. Colbert urged viewers of
his Comedy Central program to vote
to name an ISS module after him. The viewers listened and the
name with the most votes was Stephen Colbert. NASA opted to call the
module "Tranquility" and instead named a treadmill COLBERT
(Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance
InformationWeek reports that the shuttle
crew arrived at Kennedy Space Center Wednesday to do final prelaunch
preparations. The Discovery will be carrying the Leonardo supply
module to the ISS, which is fitted with equipment racks the size of
Mission commander Rick Sturckow said, "It's
great to be here for the launch. We've been studying and training
hard, and we're ready to go accomplish this mission."
of the preflight review centered on the foam encasing the Discovery's
fuel tank. Sections of the foam broke off the fuel take during the
launch of Endeavour last month. Foam breaking from the fuel tank is a
big concern after the catastrophic failure of Columbia in 2003 after
a chunk of foam hit the shuttles wing on liftoff.
very closely at the foam on the fuel tank since pieces have
fallen off in the last two shuttle launches. One area of concern for
the foam is in the section where the foam covers fuel lines.
Ultimately, after concern and testing the fuel tank was unanimously
certified as ready for flight.
Shuttle program manager John
Shannon told the AP, "That's how close we're looking.
That's how sensitive we are to foam loss. I feel extremely good about
the results of the meeting. I think we have done absolute due
diligence on the foam piece of it."