Discovery Launch Preparations Updated

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., March 22 (UPI) — Space shuttle Discovery’s STS-131 astronauts spent Monday at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, reviewing aspects of their upcoming mission.

NASA officials said the crew reviewed stowage and transfer activities for the items they will transport to the International Space State.

During the weekend, technicians at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida completed performing additional tests on Discovery’s right reaction control system’s helium regulators. The space agency said preliminary data showed the regulators, which earlier had indicated some malfunctions, were performing within specifications. Engineers will evaluate the data and discuss options Tuesday morning.

Monday’s preparations at the space center for Discovery’s scheduled April 5, 6:21 a.m. EDT launch included closeout of the shuttle’s aft compartment.

The 13-day mission to the space station will include three spacewalks to replace an ammonia tank assembly, retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior and replace a gyro assembly on the station’s truss structure.

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