The Space Shuttle Discovery, dwarfed by its external tank and solid rocket boosters, is in position in High Bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building for repair of damage to the external tank's foam insulation caused by hail. The Shuttle was rolled back from Pad 39B this morning because access to all of the damaged areas was not possible at the pad. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to the pad by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to roll back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment. (Photo Release Date: 05/16/1999 )
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