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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. –  Space shuttle Endeavour begins its move from Orbiter Processing Facility 2 to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The first motion of the shuttle out of its hangar was at 6:56 a.m. EDT. In the VAB, Endeavour will be lifted into High Bay 1 and mated to the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters already installed on the mobile launcher platform. Endeavour is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39B in about a week.  Endeavour will be prepared on the pad for liftoff in the unlikely event that a rescue mission is necessary following space shuttle Atlantis' launch on the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. After Atlantis is cleared to land, Endeavour will move to Launch Pad 39A for its upcoming STS-127 mission to the International Space Station, targeted to launch in mid-June.   Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2009-2569

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Space shuttle Endeavour begins its move from Orbiter Processing Facility 2 to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The first motion of the shuttle out of its hangar was at 6:56 a.m. EDT. In the VAB, Endeavour will be lifted into High Bay 1 and mated to the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters already installed on the mobile launcher platform. Endeavour is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39B in about a week. Endeavour will be prepared on the pad for liftoff in the unlikely event that a rescue mission is necessary following space shuttle Atlantis' launch on the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. After Atlantis is cleared to land, Endeavour will move to Launch Pad 39A for its upcoming STS-127 mission to the International Space Station, targeted to launch in mid-June. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2009-2569

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Space shuttle Endeavour begins its move from Orbiter Processing Facility 2 to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The first motion of the shuttle out of its hangar was at 6:56 a.m. EDT. In the VAB, Endeavour will be lifted into High Bay 1 and mated to the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters already installed on the mobile launcher platform. Endeavour is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39B in about a week. Endeavour will be prepared on the pad for liftoff in the unlikely event that a rescue mission is necessary following space shuttle Atlantis' launch on the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. After Atlantis is cleared to land, Endeavour will move to Launch Pad 39A for its upcoming STS-127 mission to the International Space Station, targeted to launch in mid-June. 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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10/04/2009
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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