To assist in reporting the anticipated launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, Space Imaging is releasing an IKONOS satellite image showing the Shuttle “stack” – the orbiter, external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters – situated at Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The image was collected on April 8, shortly after the Shuttle began its 4.2-mile journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad.
The orange external fuel tank and one of the solid rocket boosters are visible in the image. The Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP) is also visible to the left of the launch pad.
According to NASA, the Discovery crew’s mission is the first of two test flights to verify new inspection and repair techniques and to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Discovery has a targeted launch window from May 15 to June 3 and will be the first Shuttle mission since the Columbia accident in February 2003.
The images may be used in print, broadcast and Web to support reporting on this story, with a mandatory photo credit of “Space Imaging.” The images are best displayed at 1:1 and may be cropped. The image has been rotated with West up for a better viewing angle.