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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Space Shuttle Discovery begins moving through the doors of the Vehicle Assembly Building toward Launch Pad 39A. First motion out of the VAB was at 6:47 a.m. EDT. Rollout is a milestone for Discovery's launch to the International Space Station on mission STS-120, targeted for Oct. 23. The crew will be delivering and installing the Italian-built U.S. Node 2, named Harmony. The pressurized module will act as an internal connecting port and passageway to additional international science labs and cargo spacecraft. In addition to increasing the living and working space inside the station, it also will serve as a work platform outside for the station's robotic arm.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd2617

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Space Shuttle Discovery begins moving through the doors of the Vehicle Assembly Building toward Launch Pad 39A. First motion out of the VAB was at 6:47 a.m. EDT. Rollout is a milestone for Discovery's launch to the International Space Station on mission STS-120, targeted for Oct. 23. The crew will be delivering and installing the Italian-built U.S. Node 2, named Harmony. The pressurized module will act as an internal connecting port and passageway to additional international science labs and cargo spacecraft. In addition to increasing the living and working space inside the station, it also will serve as a work platform outside for the station's robotic arm. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd2617

 
 
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Space Shuttle Discovery begins moving through the doors of the Vehicle Assembly Building toward Launch Pad 39A. First motion out of the VAB was at 6:47 a.m. EDT. Rollout is a milestone for Discovery's launch to the International Space Station on mission STS-120, targeted for Oct. 23. The crew will be delivering and installing the Italian-built U.S. Node 2, named Harmony. The pressurized module will act as an internal connecting port and passageway to additional international science labs and cargo spacecraft. In addition to increasing the living and working space inside the station, it also will serve as a work platform outside for the station's robotic arm. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton

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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30/09/2007
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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