Tue, November 02, 2010
Sci-Tech > Science > Space shuttle Discovery's final flight

NASA sends shuttle Discovery to pad for last time

2010-09-21 02:55:18 GMT2010-09-21 10:55:18 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Space shuttle Discovery begins its 3.4-mile journey to Launch Pad 39A after leaving the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral,Fla., Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. Discovery is schedule to launch Nov. 1. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Space shuttle Discovery stands ready in the Vehicle Assembly Building before beginning its 3.4-mile journey to Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centerin Cape Canaveral, Fla., Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The space shuttle Discovery leaves the vehicle assembly building on the trip to launch pad 39 A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FloridaSeptember 20, 2010. (REUTERS/Scott Audette)

Space shuttle Discovery begins its 3.4-mile journey to Launch Pad 39A after leaving the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral,Fla., Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. Discovery is schedule to launch Nov. 1. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Space shuttle Discovery is headed to the launch pad for the last time.

NASA moved Discovery out of its hangar Monday night. The 3 1/2-mile trip to the pad was bittersweet for the space agency, which has only two shuttle missions remaining.

Discovery is set to lift off Nov. 1 for the International Space Station. Endeavour will follow in February to wrap up 30 years of shuttle flight.

Scores of shuttle workers and their families gathered to watch Discovery take its last ride to the pad atop a giant transporter.

Several hundred contract employees will lose their jobs Oct. 1 in a continuing wave of layoffs. NASA's future is uncertain because of disagreement in Washington over the next rocketships.

(Agencies)

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