NASA Managers Set to Meet

NASA officials will conduct a Flight Readiness Review on Aug.18 to discuss the preparations for space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission to the International Space Station.

Foam loss during the last two shuttle launches from one particular ice-frost ramp, or IFR, high up on the liquid oxygen tank has led to a detailed examination to determine if it is acceptable to launch Discovery without further work.

On Friday, shuttle managers approved 18 additional plug pull tests on the orbiter side of the external fuel tank to ensure there are no issues with its intertank region. The IFRs protect brackets along the external tank from development of ice when super-cold liquid oxygen and hydrogen are loaded prior to launch.

Meanwhile, the STS-128 crew is heading into quarantine today to prepare for the upcoming mission.

Launch currently is targeted for 1:58 a.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 24.