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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Orbiter Processing Facility, the right payload bay door of Discovery is being closed in preparation for the rollover of the orbiter to the Vehicle Assembly Building. The primary payload, the U.S. Node 2, which is named Harmony, will be installed in the payload bay at the pad prior to Discovery's liftoff on mission STS-120. The mission will be the 23rd flight for the assembly of the International Space Station.  Space Shuttle Discovery is targeted for launch on Oct. 23.  Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd2380

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Orbiter Processing Facility, the right payload bay door of Discovery is being closed in preparation for the rollover of the orbiter to the Vehicle Assembly Building. The primary payload, the U.S. Node 2, which is named Harmony, will be installed in the payload bay at the pad prior to Discovery's liftoff on mission STS-120. The mission will be the 23rd flight for the assembly of the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Discovery is targeted for launch on Oct. 23. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-07pd2380

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Orbiter Processing Facility, the right payload bay door of Discovery is being closed in preparation for the rollover of the orbiter to the Vehicle Assembly Building. The primary payload, the U.S. Node 2, which is named Harmony, will be installed in the payload bay at the pad prior to Discovery's liftoff on mission STS-120. The mission will be the 23rd flight for the assembly of the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Discovery is targeted for launch on Oct. 23. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann

The Space Shuttle program was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972. The Space Shuttle system—composed of an orbiter launched with two reusable solid rocket boosters and a disposable external fuel tank— carried up to eight astronauts and up to 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). When its mission was complete, the orbiter would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and lands as a glider. Although the concept had been explored since the late 1960s, the program formally commenced in 1972 and was the focus of NASA's manned operations after the final Apollo and Skylab flights in the mid-1970s. It started with the launch of the first shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981, on STS-1. and finished with its last mission, STS-135 flown by Atlantis, in July 2011.

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Date

31/08/2007
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Location

Kennedy Space Center, FL
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Source

NASA
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