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Discovery's Next Move: Rollout to Pad 39A

On Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the payload changeout room on the rotating service structure at center is open and ready to receive the STS-124 mission payload inside the approaching payload canister at far left. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) May 02, 2008
Space shuttle Discovery is set to complete the final leg of its preflight journey May 3, making the 3.4-mile trek from Kennedy Space Center's Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A. Perched atop the mobile launcher platform, the shuttle assembly will roll out to the oceanside launch complex atop the massive crawler-transporter at less than one mile an hour.

The canister carrying the STS-124 payloads arrived at the launch pad April 29. Primary payloads are the tour-bus-sized Japanese Experiment Module-Pressurized Module and the lab's robotic arm system. The components will be installed in the orbiter's payload bay after the shuttle arrives at the pad.

The STS-124 crew members, commanded by astronaut Mark Kelly, are set to arrive at Kennedy on May 6 for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. The three-day event concludes May 9 with a full dress rehearsal of the launch countdown.

Launch remains targeted for May 31.

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Discovery Ready For Final Assembly And Checkout
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Apr 29, 2008
Space shuttle Discovery rolled into the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, where the shuttle's external tank and two solid rocket boosters awaited. Discovery was then lifted to vertical inside the building's 50-story-tall transfer aisle, lowered into a high bay and joined with the tank and boosters atop the mobile launcher platform.







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