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This diagram illustrates the Space Shuttle mission sequence. The Space Shuttle was approved as a national program in 1972 and developed through the 1970s. Part spacecraft and part aircraft, the Space Shuttle orbiter, the brain and the heart of the Space Transportation System (STS), required several technological advances, including thousands of insulating tiles able to stand the heat of reentry over the course of many missions, as well as sophisticated engines that could be used again and again without being thrown away. The airplane-like orbiter has three main engines, that burn liquid hydrogen and oxygen stored in the large external tank, the single largest structure in the Shuttle. Attached to the tank are two solid rocket boosters that provide the vehecile with most of the thrust needed for liftoff. Two minutes into the flight, the spent solids drop into the ocean to be recovered and refurbished for reuse, while the orbiter engines continue burning until approximately 8 minutes into the flight. After the mission is completed, the orbiter lands on a runway like an airplane. n/a

SPACE SHUTTLE ORBITER ENTERPRISE MATED TO AN EXTERNAL FUEL TANK AND TWO SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS ON TOP OF A MOBIL LAUNCHER PLATFORM, UNDERGOES FIT AND FUNCTION CHECKS AT THE LAUNCH SITE FOR THE FIRST SPACE SHUTTLE AT LAUNCH COMPLEX 39'S PAD A. THE DUMMY SPACE SHUTTLE WAS ASSEMBLED IN THE VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING AND ROLLED OUT TO THE LAUNCH SITE ON MAY 1 AS PART OF AN EXERCISE TO MAKE CERTAIN SHUTTLE ELEMENTS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THE SPACEPORT'S ASSEMBLY AND LAUNCH FACILITIES AND GROUND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT, AND HELP CLEAR THE WAY FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE ORBITER COLUMBIA. ARC-1980-AC80-0107-17

Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise mated to an external fuel tank and two solid rocket boosters on top of a Mobil Launcher Platform, undergoes fit and function checks at the launch site for the first Space Shuttle at Launch Complex 39's Pad A. The dummy Space Shuttle was assembled in the Vehicle Assembly Building and rolled out to the launch site on May 1 as part of an exercise to make certain shuttle elements are compatible with the Spaceport's assembly and launch facilities and ground support equipment, and help clear the way for the launch of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia. ARC-1980-AC80-0107-19

SPACE SHUTTLE ORBITER ENTERPRISE MATED TO AN EXTERNAL FUEL TANK AND TWO SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS ON TOP OF A MOBIL LAUNCHER PLATFORM, UNDERGOES FIT AND FUNCTION CHECKS AT THE LAUNCH SITE FOR THE FIRST SPACE SHUTTLE AT LAUNCH COMPLEX 39'S PAD A. THE DUMMY SPACE SHUTTLE WAS ASSEMBLED IN THE VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING AND ROLLED OUT TO THE LAUNCH SITE ON MAY 1 AS PART OF AN EXERCISE TO MAKE CERTAIN SHUTTLE ELEMENTS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THE SPACEPORT'S ASSEMBLY AND LAUNCH FACILITIES AND GROUND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT, AND HELP CLEAR THE WAY FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE ORBITER COLUMBIA. ARC-1980-AC80-0107-14

Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise, mated to a 15-story-tall external propellant tank and twin inert solid rocket boosters on top of a Mobile Launcher Platform, is rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building from Lauch Complex 39's Pad A July 23 at the completion of nearly three months of fit and function checks at the shuttle launch site as part of the exercise designed to help clear the way for the liftoff of its sister ship Columbia. The massive Crawler Transporter began moving its 11 million pound load the 3.5 miles from pad A to the VAB at 10:23 a.m. and reached the doorway to High Bay 1 at 3:48p.m. following serveral days of fit checks of modified extermiable platforms in the assembly bay, the nonlaunchable shuttle will be destacked. Enterprise will be returned to Rockwell International and stripped of parts for integration into orbiter destined for space, while the external tank and solid booster will be returned to their respective prime contractors and refurbished for use on a later shuttle mission. ARC-1980-AC80-0107-18

Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise is lowered to the floor of the transfer aisle in the Vehicle Assembly Building during destacking operations. The Enterprise, mated to an external tank and twin inert solid rocket boosters, formed a nonlaunchable Space Shuttle which was used for fit and function checks of assembly, test and launch facilities at the nation's Spaceport. Enterprise will be tansported to the Shuttle Landing Facility, mounted piggyback on its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and flown to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, California. ARC-1980-AC80-0107-13

The Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise is lowered to the floor of the transfer aisle in the Vehicle Assembly Building during destacking operations. The Enterprise, mated to an external tank and twin inert solid rocket boosters, formed a nonlaunchable Space Shuttle which was used for fit and fuction checks of assembly, test and launch facilities at the nation's Spaceport. Enterprise will be transported to the Shuttle Landing Facility, mounted piggyback on its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and flown to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, CA. ARC-1980-AC80-0107-12

DRYDEN FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER, CALIF. - Orbiter Columbia "flares out" for a landing at Rogers dry lake Runway 23, successfully completing the historic first flight for the Space Shuttle. Astronauts John Young, Commander, and Robert Crippen, Pilot, crewed the spacecraft for the first full test of the Space Transportation System. STS-1, known as a shuttle systems test flight, seeks to demonstrate safe launch into orbit and safe return of the orbiter and crew and verify the combined performance of the entire shuttle vehicle -- orbiter, solid rocket boosters and external tank. KSC-81PC0425

A view of the space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters, resting on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six. The mobile service tower is in the background

An overall view of Space Launch Complex Six. The structures are, from left to right: the payload changeout room attached, the shuttle assembly building, the access tower and launch mount, and the mobile service tower. The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, is resting on the launch mount

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six

The Space Shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six. In the background is the mobile service tower and in the foreground is the shuttle assembly building

A nighttime view of the space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, resting on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six. The mobile service tower is on the right

A nighttime view of the space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, resting on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six

A nighttime view of the space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, resting on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six. The mobile service tower is in the background

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six. The shuttle assembly building is on the left and the mobile service tower is on the right

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six. In the background is the mobile service tower

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six. On the far right is the mobile service tower and on the left are the payload preparation room, payload changeout room and the shuttle assembly building (marked USAF)

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six. On the right is the mobile service tower

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount next to the access tower at Space Launch Complex Six. In the background is the mobile service tower and in the left foreground is a portion of the shuttle assembly building

The space shuttle Enterprise, mated to an external tank and solid rocket boosters, rests on the launch mount at Space Launch Complex Six. On the far right is the mobile service tower and on the left are the payload preparation room, payload changeout room and the shuttle assembly building (marked USAF)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Kennedy Space Center Director Lt. Gen. Forrest S. McCartney, left, stands on the fixed service structure in front of one of the space shuttle Atlantis' solid rocket boosters the morning after it is rolled out to Pad 39B. With McCartney is the pad site manager Bill Warren. Photo credit: NASA KSC-86PC-0311

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - After the successful Flight Readiness Firing of the space shuttle Discovery's three main engines, Kennedy Space Center Director Forrest McCartney congratulates members of the launch team in the firing room. The approximate 22-second firing was conducted to evaluate the performance of various components of the shuttle, external tank and solid rocket boosters, as well as the launch facilities and support equipment which will be used during the launch of STS-26. Looking on is Bob Sieck, KSC launch director, right, Hugh Harris, deputy director of KSC Public Affairs, left, and John Conway, director of Payload Management and Operations, second from left. Photo credit: NASA KSC-88PC-0806

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The orbiter Columbia completes the short journey from Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1 to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). During its approximately one-week stay inside the VAB, the spaceplane will be mated to the external tank and twin solid rocket boosters, and electrical and mechanical interfaces will be verified. Rollout to Launch Pad 39B is planned for Oct. 16, where the two primary payloads of the upcoming STS-80 mission -- the Wake Shield Facility-3 (WSF-3) and Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrograph-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (ORFEUS-SPAS-2) -- will be installed. Liftoff on the final Shuttle flight of 1996 is targeted for no earlier than Nov 8 at 2:47 p.m. EST KSC-96pc1159

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The orbiter Columbia completes the short journey from Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1 to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). During its approximately one-week stay inside the VAB, the spaceplane will be mated to the external tank and twin solid rocket boosters, and electrical and mechanical interfaces will be verified. Rollout to Launch Pad 39B is planned for Oct. 16, where the two primary payloads of the upcoming STS-80 mission -- the Wake Shield Facility-3 (WSF-3) and Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrograph-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (ORFEUS-SPAS-2) -- will be installed. Liftoff on the final Shuttle flight of 1996 is targeted for no earlier than Nov 8 at 2:47 p.m. EST. KSC-96pc1160

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The orbiter Columbia completes the short journey from Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1 to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). During its approximately one-week stay inside the VAB, the spaceplane will be mated to the external tank and twin solid rocket boosters, and electrical and mechanical interfaces will be verified. Rollout to Launch Pad 39B is planned for Oct. 16, where the two primary payloads of the upcoming STS-80 mission -- the Wake Shield Facility-3 (WSF-3) and Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrograph-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (ORFEUS-SPAS-2) -- will be installed. Liftoff on the final Shuttle flight of 1996 is targeted for no earlier than Nov 8 at 2:47 p.m. EST KSC-96pc1158

The Rotating Service Structure (RSS) at Launch Pad 39A is rotated back, revealing the Space Shuttle orbiter Atlantis with its external tank and twin solid rocket boosters in full launch configuration. Rollback of the RSS is a major preflight milestone, typically occurring during the T-11-hour hold on L-1 (the day before launch). Atlantis and its crew of seven are in final preparations for liftoff on Mission STS-84, the sixth of nine planned dockings of the Space Shuttle with the Russian Space Station Mir. Launch is scheduled at about 4:08 a.m. during an approximately 7-minute launch window. The exact liftoff time will be determined about 90 minutes prior to launch, based on the most current location of Mir KSC-97pc785

While KSC workers in the Launch Complex 39 Area watch, The Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia rolls over to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) June 4 from Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF)1 atop its transporter in preparation for the STS-94 mission. Once inside the VAB, Columbia will be hoisted to be mated with its solid rocket boosters and external tank. Columbia was moved to the OPF April 8 after the completion of the STS-83 mission. KSC payloads processing employees then began work to reservice the Microgravity Science Laboratory-1 (MSL-1) Spacelab module in the orbiter’s payload bay for the STS-94 mission. This was the first time that this type of payload was reserviced without removing it from the payload bay. This new procedure pioneers processing efforts for possible quick relaunch turnaround times for future payloads. The MSL-1 module will fly again with the full complement of STS-83 experiments after that mission was cut short due to indications of a faulty fuel cell. During the scheduled 16-day STS-94 mission, the experiments will be used to test some of the hardware, facilities and procedures that are planned for use on the International Space Station while the flight crew conducts combustion, protein crystal growth and materials processing experiments KSC-97PC879

The Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia is reflected in a nearby pond as it rolls over to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) June 4 from Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) 1 atop its transporter in preparation for the STS-94 mission. Once inside the VAB, Columbia will be hoisted to be mated with its solid rocket boosters and external tank. Columbia was moved to the OPF April 8 after the completion of the STS-83 mission. KSC payloads processing employees then began work to reservice the Microgravity Science Laboratory-1 (MSL-1) Spacelab module in the orbiter’s payload bay for the STS-94 mission. This was the first time that this type of payload was reserviced without removing it from the payload bay. This new procedure pioneers processing efforts for possible quick relaunch turnaround times for future payloads. The MSL-1 module will fly again with the full complement of STS-83 experiments after that mission was cut short due to indications of a faulty fuel cell. During the scheduled 16-day STS-94 mission, the experiments will be used to test some of the hardware, facilities and procedures that are planned for use on the International Space Station while the flight crew conducts combustion, protein crystal growth and materials processing experiments KSC-97PC880

The Space Shuttle Orbiter Discovery rolls over from Orbiter Processing Facility 2 on top of the orbiter transporter to the Vehicle Assembly Building for mating with its external tank and solid rocket boosters in preparation for the STS-85 mission. Several payloads will be aboard Discovery during the 11-day mission, including the Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) and the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (CRISTA-SPAS-2), as well as the Technology Applications and Science-1 (TAS-1) and International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH-2) experiments KSC-97PC998

The Space Shuttle Orbiter Discovery rolls over from Orbiter Processing Facility 2 on top of the orbiter transporter to the Vehicle Assembly Building for mating with its external tank and solid rocket boosters in preparation for the STS-85 mission. Several payloads will be aboard Discovery during the 11-day mission, including the Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) and the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (CRISTA-SPAS-2), as well as the Technology Applications and Science-1 (TAS-1) and International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH-2) experiments KSC-97PC999

The Space Shuttle Orbiter Discovery rolls over from Orbiter Processing Facility 2 on top of the orbiter transporter to the Vehicle Assembly Building for mating with its external tank and solid rocket boosters in preparation for the STS-85 mission. Several payloads will be aboard Discovery during the 11-day mission, including the Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) and the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (CRISTA-SPAS-2), as well as the Technology Applications and Science-1 (TAS-1) and International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH-2) experiments KSC-97PC997

The Space Shuttle Orbiter Discovery in Orbiter Processing Facility 2 begins its rollover on top of the orbiter transporter to the Vehicle Assembly Building for mating with its external tank and solid rocket boosters in preparation for the STS-85 mission. Several payloads will be aboard Discovery during the 11-day mission, including the Manipulator Flight Demonstration (MFD) and the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (CRISTA-SPAS-2), as well as the Technology Applications and Science-1 (TAS-1) and International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH-2) experiments KSC-97PC996

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Kennedy Space Center's Advanced Systems Development organization conducts a test of an unmanned robotic submersible to evaluate its ability to assist divers in the task of recovering spent solid rocket boosters (SRBs) in the Atlantic Ocean. NASA and contractor Deep Sea Systems of Falmouth, Mass., demonstrated the Max Rover submersible at Port Canaveral's Trident pier. The fact-finding tests are part of NASA's effort to make SRB recovery operations safer and less strenuous KSC-97PC1296

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Kennedy Space Center's Advanced Systems Development organization conducts a test of an unmanned robotic submersible to evaluate its ability to assist divers in the task of recovering spent solid rocket boosters (SRBs) in the Atlantic Ocean. NASA and contractor Deep Sea Systems of Falmouth, Mass., demonstrated the Max Rover submersible at Port Canaveral's Trident pier. The fact-finding tests are part of NASA's effort to make SRB recovery operations safer and less strenuous KSC-97PC1294

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Kennedy Space Center's Advanced Systems Development organization conducts a test of an unmanned robotic submersible to evaluate its ability to assist divers in the task of recovering spent solid rocket boosters (SRBs) in the Atlantic Ocean. NASA and contractor Deep Sea Systems of Falmouth, Mass., demonstrated the Max Rover submersible at Port Canaveral's Trident pier. The fact-finding tests are part of NASA's effort to make SRB recovery operations safer and less strenuous KSC-97PC1295

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A scuba diver stands by as the unmanned Max Rover submersible goes down to insert a Diver Operated Plug (DOP) into an aft nozzle like the ones used on the Space Shuttle's solid rocket boosters (SRBs). NASA and contractor Deep Sea Systems demonstrated the submersible at Port Canaveral's Trident pier. Kennedy Space Center's SRB retrieval team and Advanced Systems Development laboratory staff hope that the new robotic technology will make the process of inserting the plug into spent SRBs safer and less strenuous. Currently, scuba divers manually insert the DOP into the aft nozzle of a jettisoned SRB 60 to 70 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. After the plug is installed, water is pumped out of the booster allowing it to float horizontally. It is then towed back to Hangar AF at Cape Canaveral Air Station for refurbishment. Deep Sea Systems of Falmouth, Mass., built the submersible for NASA KSC-97PC1299

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Space Shuttle orbiter Columbia was transferred from Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 today to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), where it will be mated to its external tank and solid rocket boosters. Here it is shown on its way to the VAB. Columbia is being prepared for the STS-90 mission, carrying the Neurolab payload. Investigations during the Neurolab mission will focus on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. The mission is a joint venture of six space agencies and seven U.S. research agencies. Investigator teams from nine countries will conduct 31 studies in the microgravity environment of space. The launch is targeted for April 16 at 2:19 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc372

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Space Shuttle orbiter Columbia was transferred from Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 today to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), where it will be mated to its external tank and solid rocket boosters. Here it is shown in the transfer aisle of the VAB. Columbia is being prepared for the STS-90 mission, carrying the Neurolab payload. Investigations during the Neurolab mission will focus on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. The mission is a joint venture of six space agencies and seven U.S. research agencies. Investigator teams from nine countries will conduct 31 studies in the microgravity environment of space. The launch is targeted for April 16 at 2:19 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc373

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Space Shuttle orbiter Columbia was transferred from Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 today to the Vehicle Assembly Building, where it will be mated to its external tank and solid rocket boosters. Here it is shown backing out of the bay, with first motion occurring at 10:48 a.m. Columbia is being prepared for the STS-90 mission, carrying the Neurolab payload. Investigations during the Neurolab mission will focus on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. The mission is a joint venture of six space agencies and seven U.S. research agencies. Investigator teams from nine countries will conduct 31 studies in the microgravity environment of space. The launch is targeted for April 16 at 2:19 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc371

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Space Shuttle orbiter Columbia was transferred from Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 today to the Vehicle Assembly Building, where it will be mated to its external tank and solid rocket boosters. Here it is shown backing out of the bay, with first motion occurring at 10:48 a.m. Columbia is being prepared for the STS-90 mission, carrying the Neurolab payload. Investigations during the Neurolab mission will focus on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. The mission is a joint venture of six space agencies and seven U.S. research agencies. Investigator teams from nine countries will conduct 31 studies in the microgravity environment of space. The launch is targeted for April 16 at 2:19 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc370

The orbiter Discovery approaches KSC's 525-foot-high Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) after leaving the Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2. Once inside the VAB, Discovery will be hoisted upright into a vertical position to be mated with an orange external tank and two white solid rocket boosters. Once mated, the orbiter becomes the Space Shuttle Discovery, slated for launch on STS-91, the ninth and final docking mission with the Russian Space Station Mir. The six-member crew of STS-91 will dock with Mir and pick up Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas, Ph.D., who will have been on Mir about four months, to return him to Earth. STS-91 is scheduled to launch June 2 at about 6:04 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc536

The orbiter Discovery rolls out of KSC's Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2 en route to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Once inside the VAB, Discovery will be hoisted upright into a vertical position to be mated with an orange external tank and two white solid rocket boosters. Once mated, the orbiter becomes the Space Shuttle Discovery, slated for launch on STS-91, the ninth and final docking mission with the Russian Space Station Mir. The six-member crew of STS-91 will dock with Mir and pick up Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas, Ph.D., who will have been on Mir about four months, to return him to Earth. STS-91 is scheduled to launch June 2 at about 6:04 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc535

The orbiter Discovery approaches the door of KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building after leaving the Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2. Soon, it will be hoisted upright into a vertical position to be mated with an orange external tank and two white solid rocket boosters. Once mated, the orbiter becomes the Space Shuttle Discovery, slated for launch on STS-91, the ninth and final docking mission with the Russian Space Station Mir. The six-member crew of STS-91 will dock with Mir and pick up Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas, Ph.D., who will have been on Mir about four months, to return him to Earth. STS-91 is scheduled to launch June 2 at about 6:04 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc537

The orbiter Discovery is backed out of KSC's Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2 en route to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Once inside the VAB, Discovery will be hoisted upright into a vertical position to be mated with an orange external tank and two white solid rocket boosters. Once mated, the orbiter becomes the Space Shuttle Discovery, slated for launch on STS-91, the ninth and final docking mission with the Russian Space Station Mir. The six-member crew of STS-91 will dock with Mir and pick up Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas, Ph.D., who will have been on Mir about four months, to return him to Earth. STS-91 is scheduled to launch June 2 at about 6:04 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc533

The orbiter Discovery sits in the transfer aisle of KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building as it awaits being attached to the yellow hoist and crane for lifting into a vertical position. Once standing upright, Discovery will be mated with an orange external tank and two white solid rocket boosters, transforming the orbiter into the Space Shuttle Discovery, slated for launch on STS-91, the ninth and final docking mission with the Russian Space Station Mir. The six-member crew of STS-91 will dock with Mir and pick up Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas, Ph.D., who will have been on Mir about four months, to return him to Earth. STS-91 is scheduled to launch June 2 at about 6:04 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc538

Astronaut Fernando (Frank) Caldeiro poses in front of the orbiter Discovery as it rolls out of KSC's Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2 en route to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Once inside the VAB, Discovery will be hoisted upright into a vertical position to be mated with an orange external tank and two white solid rocket boosters. Once mated, the orbiter becomes the Space Shuttle Discovery, slated for launch on STS-91, the ninth and final docking mission with the Russian Space Station Mir. The six-member crew of STS-91 will dock with Mir and pick up Mission Specialist Andrew Thomas, Ph.D., who will have been on Mir about four months, to return him to Earth. STS-91 is scheduled to launch June 2 at about 6:04 p.m. EDT KSC-98pc534

Preliminary reports indicate the Space Shuttle's first super lightweight external tank (SLWT) is in excellent condition following the completion of a tanking test yesterday during a simulated launch countdown at Launch Pad 39A. The pad's Rotating Service Structure will be closed around Discovery later today as preparations for the STS-91 launch on June 2 continue. The primary objectives of the test were to evaluate the strut loads between the tank and the solid rocket boosters and to verify the integrity of the new components of the tank. The SLWT is 7,500 pounds lighter than its predecessors and was developed to increase the Shuttle payload capacity on International Space Station assembly flights. Major changes to the lighter tank include the use of new materials and a revised internal design. The new liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks are constructed of aluminum lithium a lighter, stronger material than the metal alloy currently used. The redesigned walls of the liquid hydrogen tank were machined to provide additional strength and stability, as well. The STS-91 mission will also feature the ninth Shuttle docking with the Russian Space Station Mir, the first Mir docking for Discovery, and the conclusion of Phase I of the joint U.S.-Russian International Space Station Program KSC-98pc620

Preliminary reports indicate the Space Shuttle's first super lightweight external tank (SLWT) is in excellent condition following the completion of a tanking test yesterday during a simulated launch countdown at Launch Pad 39A. The pad's Rotating Service Structure will be closed around Discovery later today as preparations for the STS-91 launch on June 2 continue. The primary objectives of the test were to evaluate the strut loads between the tank and the solid rocket boosters and to verify the integrity of the new components of the tank. The SLWT is 7,500 pounds lighter than its predecessors and was developed to increase the Shuttle payload capacity on International Space Station assembly flights. Major changes to the lighter tank include the use of new materials and a revised internal design. The new liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks are constructed of aluminum lithium a lighter, stronger material than the metal alloy currently used. The redesigned walls of the liquid hydrogen tank were machined to provide additional strength and stability, as well. The STS-91 mission will also feature the ninth Shuttle docking with the Russian Space Station Mir, the first Mir docking for Discovery, and the conclusion of Phase I of the joint U.S.-Russian International Space Station Program KSC-98pc621

A Boeing Delta 7326 rocket with two solid rocket boosters attached sits on Launch Pad 17A, Cape Canaveral Air Station. Delta II rockets are medium capacity expendable launch vehicles derived from the Delta family of rockets built and launched since 1960. Since then there have been more than 245 Delta launches. Delta's origins go back to the Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile, which was developed in the mid-1950s for the U.S. Air Force. The Thor a single-stage, liquid-fueled rocket later was modified to become the Delta launch vehicle. Delta IIs are manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif. Rocketdyne, a division of The Boeing Company, builds Delta II's main engine in Canoga Park, Calif. Final assembly takes place at the Boeing facility in Pueblo, Colo. The Delta 7236, which has three solid rocket boosters and a Star 37 upper stage, will launch Deep Space 1, the first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program. It is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century. Onboard experiments include an ion propulsion engine and software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but may also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999 KSC-98pc1114

Three boosters are lifted into place at Launch Pad 17A, Cape Canaveral Air Station, for installation onto the Boeing Delta 7326 rocket that will launch Deep Space 1. Delta II rockets are medium capacity expendable launch vehicles derived from the Delta family of rockets built and launched since 1960. Since then there have been more than 245 Delta launches. The Delta 7236 has three solid rocket boosters and a Star 37 upper stage. Delta IIs are manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif. Rocketdyne, a division of The Boeing Company, builds Delta II's main engine in Canoga Park, Calif. Deep Space 1, the first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century. Onboard experiments include an ion propulsion engine and software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but may also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999 KSC-98pc1119

A booster is raised off a truck bed and prepared for lifting to the Boeing Delta 7326 rocket that will launch Deep Space 1 at Launch Pad 17A, Cape Canaveral Air Station. Delta II rockets are medium capacity expendable launch vehicles derived from the Delta family of rockets built and launched since 1960. Since then there have been more than 245 Delta launches. The Delta 7236 has three solid rocket boosters and a Star 37 upper stage. Delta IIs are manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif. Rocketdyne, a division of The Boeing Company, builds Delta II's main engine in Canoga Park, Calif. Deep Space 1, the first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century. Onboard experiments include an ion propulsion engine and software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but may also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999 KSC-98pc1116

A booster is lifted off a truck for installation onto the Boeing Delta 7326 rocket that will launch Deep Space 1 at Launch Pad 17A, Cape Canaveral Air Station. Delta II rockets are medium capacity expendable launch vehicles derived from the Delta family of rockets built and launched since 1960. Since then there have been more than 245 Delta launches. The Delta 7236 has three solid rocket boosters and a Star 37 upper stage. Delta IIs are manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif. Rocketdyne, a division of The Boeing Company, builds Delta II's main engine in Canoga Park, Calif. Deep Space 1, the first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century. Onboard experiments include an ion propulsion engine and software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but may also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999 KSC-98pc1117

A booster is lifted for installation onto the Boeing Delta 7326 rocket that will launch Deep Space 1 at Launch Pad 17A, Cape Canaveral Air Station. Delta II rockets are medium capacity expendable launch vehicles derived from the Delta family of rockets built and launched since 1960. Since then there have been more than 245 Delta launches. The Delta 7236 has three solid rocket boosters and a Star 37 upper stage. Delta IIs are manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif. Rocketdyne, a division of The Boeing Company, builds Delta II's main engine in Canoga Park, Calif. Deep Space 1, the first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century. Onboard experiments include an ion propulsion engine and software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but may also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999 KSC-98pc1111

Two boosters are lifted into place, while a third waits on the ground, for installation onto the Boeing Delta 7326 rocket that will launch Deep Space 1 at Launch Pad 17A, Cape Canaveral Air Station. Delta II rockets are medium capacity expendable launch vehicles derived from the Delta family of rockets built and launched since 1960. Since then there have been more than 245 Delta launches. The Delta 7236 has three solid rocket boosters and a Star 37 upper stage. Delta IIs are manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif. Rocketdyne, a division of The Boeing Company, builds Delta II's main engine in Canoga Park, Calif. Deep Space 1, the first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century. Onboard experiments include an ion propulsion engine and software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but may also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999 KSC-98pc1118

In the pre-dawn hours, STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery, on the Mobile Launch Platform, begins rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex Pad 39B via the crawler transporter. The 4.2-mile trip takes approximately 6 hours. Once at the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1099

The STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery sits on the Mobile Launch Platform, still atop the crawler transporter, at Launch Pad 39B. To its left is the Fixed Service Structure that provides access to the orbiter and the Rotating Service Structure. To its right is the elevated water tank, with a capacity of 300,000 gallons. Part of the sound suppression water system, the tank stands 290 feet high on the northeast side of the pad. Water from the tank is released just before ignition of the orbiter's three main engines and twin solid rocket boosters. The entire system reduces the acoustical levels within the orbiter's payload bay to an acceptable 142 decibels. Beyond the orbiter is seen the Atlantic Ocean. While at the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1110

In the pre-dawn hours, STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery, on the Mobile Launch Platform, exits the doors of the Vehicle Assembly Building as it begins rollout to Launch Complex Pad 39B via the crawler transporter. The 4.2-mile trip takes approximately 6 hours. Once at the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1100

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Looking eastward, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in the Launch Complex 39 area can be seen with its new coat of paint, along with newly painted American flag and NASA logo. The improved look was finished in time to honor NASA's 40th anniversary on Oct. 1. In order to do the job, workers were suspended on platforms from the top of the 525-foot-high VAB. One of the world's largest buildings by volume, the VAB is the last stop for the Shuttle before rollout to the launch pad. Integration and stacking of the complete Space Shuttle vehicle (orbiter, two solid rocket boosters and the external tank) takes place in High Bays 1 or 3. Stretching from the side of the VAB, on the right, is the crawlerway, used to transport the Space Shuttle to the launch pad. Beyond the VAB is Banana Creek KSC-98pc1238

As daylight creeps over the horizon, STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery, on the Mobile Launch Platform, arrives at Launch Complex Pad 39B after a 4.2-mile trip taking approximately 6 hours. At the left is the "white room," attached to the orbiter access arm. The white room is an environmental chamber that mates with the orbiter and holds six persons. At the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1101

Dawn breaks behind STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery, on the Mobile Launch Platform, as it approaches Launch Complex Pad 39B after a 6-hour, 4.2-mile trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building. At the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1102

At the end of its 6-hour, 4.2-mile circular trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building, the STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery sits on the Mobile Launch Platform, still atop the crawler transporter, at Launch Pad 39B. To its left is the Fixed Service Structure that provides access to the orbiter and the Rotating Service Structure. Above it is the 80-foot fiberglass lightning mast which provides protection from lightning strikes. This view shows the Atlantic Ocean beyond the shuttle, to the east. At the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1108

The early morning light reveals STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery, on the Mobile Launch Platform, on its 6-hour, 4.2-mile trek to Launch Complex Pad 39B from the Vehicle Assembly Building. To the left is the Fixed Service Structure that provides access to the orbiter and the Rotating Service Structure. In the background is th eelevated water tank that helps reduce sound levels during launch. At the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1105

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in the Launch Complex 39 area wears a new coat of paint, along with newly painted American flag and NASA logo. The improved look was finished in time to honor NASA's 40th anniversary on Oct. 1. In order to do the job, workers were suspended on platforms from the top of the 525-foot-high VAB. One of the world's largest buildings by volume, the VAB is the last stop for the Shuttle before rollout to the launch pad. Integration and stacking of the complete Space Shuttle vehicle (orbiter, two solid rocket boosters and the external tank) takes place in High Bays 1 or 3. To the right of the VAB is the Launch Control Center. Each of its four firing rooms are equipped with automated, computer-controlled Launch Processing System (LPS) for monitoring and controlling Shuttle assembly, checkout and launch operations, as well as work order control and scheduling. Banana Creek is visible behind and to the right of the VAB KSC-98pc1237

Perched on the Mobile Launch Platform, in the early morning hours Space Shuttle Discovery approaches Launch Complex Pad 39B after a 6-hour, 4.2-mile trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building. At the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1103

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Looking northwest, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in the Launch Complex 39 area of KSC can be seen with its new coat of paint, along with newly painted American flag and NASA logo. The improved look was finished in time to honor NASA's 40th anniversary on Oct. 1. In order to do the job, workers were suspended on platforms from the top of the 525-foot-high VAB. One of the world's largest buildings by volume, the VAB is the last stop for the Shuttle before rollout to the launch pad. Integration and stacking of the complete Space Shuttle vehicle (orbiter, two solid rocket boosters and the external tank) takes place in High Bays 1 or 3. The High Bay doors (shown partially open), four in all, are 456 feet high. The low-door section, 114 feet high, has four panels that move horizontally. The upper section, 342 feet high, has seven panels that move vertically. It takes about 45 minutes to open all panels. Beyond the VAB is the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The SLF is used for end-of-mission orbiter landings, and also military and civilian cargo carriers, astronauts' T-38 trainers, Shuttle Training Aircraft, and helicopters KSC-98pc1239

The early morning sun silhouettes STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery, on the Mobile Launch Platform, at Launch Complex Pad 39B after a 6-hour, 4.2-mile trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building. At the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1104

At the end of its 6-hour, 4.2-mile circular trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building (background), the STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery (barely visible behind the external tank and solid rocket boosters) is moved into place at Launch Pad 39B. To its right is the Fixed Service Structure that provides access to the orbiter and the Rotating Service Structure. Below it is the flame trench. At the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process. KSC-98PC-1106

At the end of its 6-hour, 4.2-mile circular trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building, the STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery, still on the Mobile Launch Platform and crawler transporter, sits at Launch Pad 39B. To its left is the Fixed Service Structure that provides access to the orbiter and the Rotating Service Structure. Above it is the 80-foot fiberglass lightning mast that provides protection from lightning strikes. The top of the photo looks west, across the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. While at the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1107

The STS-95 Space Shuttle Discovery sits on the Mobile Launch Platform, still atop the crawler transporter, at Launch Pad 39B, after its 4.2-mile, 6-hour trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building. On its left is the Fixed Service Structure that provides access to the orbiter and the Rotating Service Structure. Beyond the orbiter is seen the Atlantic Ocean. While at the launch pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the launch, scheduled to lift off Oct. 29. The mission includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process KSC-98pc1109

On Launch Pad 39B, the STS-95 crew pose after successfully completing a pre-launch countdown exercise on Space Shuttle Discovery. Standing from left to right are Mission Specialist Scott E. Parazynski, Mission Specialist Stephen K. Robinson, Payload Specialist John H. Glenn Jr., senator from Ohio, Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai (M.D., Ph.D.), representing the National Space Development Agency in Japan (NASDA), Mission Commander Curtis L. Brown, Pilot Steven W. Lindsey, and Mission Specialist Pedro Duque of Spain, representing the European Space Agency (ESA). In the background (left) can be seen one of the solid rocket boosters and the external tank. The STS-95 crew are at KSC to participate in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) which includes mission familiarization activities, emergency egress training, and a simulated main engine cutoff. The STS-95 mission, targeted for liftoff on Oct. 29, includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process. Following the TCDT, the crew will be returning to Houston for final flight preparations KSC-98pc1311

On Launch Pad 39B, the STS-95 crew pose after successfully completing a pre-launch countdown exercise on Space Shuttle Discovery. Standing from left to right are Mission Specialist Scott E. Parazynski, Mission Specialist Stephen K. Robinson, Payload Specialist John H. Glenn Jr., senator from Ohio, Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai (M.D., Ph.D.), representing the National Space Development Agency in Japan (NASDA), Mission Commander Curtis L. Brown, Pilot Steven W. Lindsey, and Mission Specialist Pedro Duque of Spain, representing the European Space Agency (ESA). In the background can be seen one of the solid rocket boosters and the external tank. The STS-95 crew are at KSC to participate in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) which includes mission familiarization activities, emergency egress training, and a simulated main engine cutoff. The STS-95 mission, targeted for liftoff on Oct. 29, includes research payloads such as the Spartan solar-observing deployable spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Systems Test Platform, the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker, as well as the SPACEHAB single module with experiments on space flight and the aging process. Following the TCDT, the crew will be returning to Houston for final flight preparations KSC-98pc1310

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Orbiter Endeavour is suspended in a vertical position inside the Vehicle Assembly Building where it will be mated with the solid rocket boosters and external tank. Endeavour is scheduled to fly on mission STS-88, the first flight for the International Space Station, on Dec. 3, 1998. The primary payload on the mission is the Unity connecting module, which will be mated to the Russian-built Zarya control module expected to already be in orbit at that time KSC-98pc1341

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Orbiter Endeavour is lifted off the transporter to raise it to a vertical position inside the Vehicle Assembly Building where it will be mated with the solid rocket boosters and external tank. Endeavour is scheduled to fly on mission STS-88, the first flight for the International Space Station, on Dec. 3, 1998. The primary payload on the mission is the Unity connecting module, which will be mated to the Russian-built Zarya control module expected to already be in orbit at that time KSC-98pc1340

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Viewed from below, the orbiter Endeavour appears in flight as it hangs suspended inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. The orbiter is being lifted to its vertical position to be mated to the solid rocket boosters and external tank that will help launch STS-88 in December 1998. STs-88 is the first flight for the International Space Station, with the primary payload the Unity connecting module. Unity will be mated to the Russian-built Zarya control module expected to already be in orbit at that time KSC-98pc1342

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- In the cloud-dimmed light of early morning, Space Shuttle Endeavour sits in place at Launch Pad 39A , atop the mobile launcher platform and crawler transporter, after rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building. At its left are the Rotating Service Structure and Fixed Service Structure with the orbiter access arm extended. The access arm swings out to the orbiter crew compartment hatch to allow personnel to enter the crew compartment. At its outer end is the white room, an environmental chamber, that mates with the orbiter. While at the pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the STS-88 launch targeted for Dec. 3, 1998. Mission STS-88 is the first U.S. flight for the assembly of the International Space Station and will carry the Unity connecting module. While on orbit, the flight crew will deploy Unity from the payload bay and connect it to the Russian-built Zarya control module which will be in orbit at that time. Unity will be the main connecting point for later U.S. station modules and components. More than 40 launches are planned over five years involving the resources and expertise of 16 cooperating nations. Comprising the STS-88 crew are Commander Robert D. Cabana, Pilot Frederick W. "Rick" Sturckow, Mission Specialists Nancy J. Currie, Jerry L. Ross, James H. Newman and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev. Ross and Newman will make three spacewalks to connect power, data and utility lines and install exterior equipment KSC-98pc1360

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER,  Fla. -- In the cloud-dimmed light of early morning, Space Shuttle Endeavour sits in place at Launch Pad 39A , atop the mobile launcher platform and crawler transporter, after rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building. At its left are the Rotating Service Structure and Fixed Service Structure with the orbiter access arm extended. The access arm swings out to the orbiter crew compartment hatch to allow personnel to enter the crew compartment. At its outer end is the white room, an environmental chamber, that mates with the orbiter. While at the pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the STS-88 launch targeted for Dec. 3, 1998. Mission STS-88 is the first U.S. flight for the assembly of the International Space Station and will carry the Unity connecting module. While on orbit, the flight crew will deploy Unity from the payload bay and connect it to the Russian-built Zarya control module which will be in orbit at that time. Unity will be the main connecting point for later U.S. station modules and components. More than 40 launches are planned over five years involving the resources and expertise of 16 cooperating nations. Comprising the STS-88 crew are Commander Robert D. Cabana, Pilot Frederick W. "Rick" Sturckow, Mission Specialists Nancy J. Currie, Jerry L. Ross, James H. Newman and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev. Ross and Newman will make three spacewalks to connect power, data and utility lines and install exterior equipment KSC-98pc1360
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- In the cloud-dimmed light of early morning, Space Shuttle Endeavour sits in place at Launch Pad 39A , atop the mobile launcher platform and crawler transporter, after rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building. At its left are the Rotating Service Structure and Fixed Service Structure with the orbiter access arm extended. The access arm swings out to the orbiter crew compartment hatch to allow personnel to enter the crew compartment. At its outer end is the white room, an environmental chamber, that mates with the orbiter. While at the pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the STS-88 launch targeted for Dec. 3, 1998. Mission STS-88 is the first U.S. flight for the assembly of the International Space Station and will carry the Unity connecting module. While on orbit, the flight crew will deploy Unity from the payload bay and connect it to the Russian-built Zarya control module which will be in orbit at that time. Unity will be the main connecting point for later U.S. station modules and components. More than 40 launches are planned over five years involving the resources and expertise of 16 cooperating nations. Comprising the STS-88 crew are Commander Robert D. Cabana, Pilot Frederick W. "Rick" Sturckow, Mission Specialists Nancy J. Currie, Jerry L. Ross, James H. Newman and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev. Ross and Newman will make three spacewalks to connect power, data and utility lines and install exterior equipment KSC-98pc1360

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Towering atop the mobile launcher platform and crawler transporter in the early morning light, Space Shuttle Endeavour arrives at Launch Pad 39A after rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building. At its left are the Rotating Service Structure and the Fixed Service Structure; at the right is the 300,000-gallon water tank, part of the sound suppression water system. While at the pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the STS-88 launch targeted for Dec. 3, 1998. Mission STS-88 is the first U.S. flight for the assembly of the International Space Station and will carry the Unity connecting module. While on orbit, the flight crew will deploy Unity from the payload bay and connect it to the Russian-built Zarya control module which will be in orbit at that time. Unity will be the main connecting point for later U.S. station modules and components. More than 40 launches are planned over five years involving the resources and expertise of 16 cooperating nations. Comprising the STS-88 crew are Commander Robert D. Cabana, Pilot Frederick W. "Rick" Sturckow, Mission Specialists Nancy J. Currie, Jerry L. Ross, James H. Newman and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev. Ross and Newman will make three spacewalks to connect power, data and utility lines and install exterior equipment KSC-98pc1358

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Space Shuttle Endeavour arrives at Launch Pad 39A in the dim early morning light, atop the mobile launcher platform and crawler transporter, after rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The flag identifying the Shuttle (at right) waves slightly from the wind. At left are the Fixed Service Structure and Rotating Service Structure. While at the pad, the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket boosters will undergo final preparations for the STS-88 launch targeted for Dec. 3, 1998. Mission STS-88 is the first U.S. flight for the assembly of the International Space Station and will carry the Unity connecting module. While on orbit, the flight crew will deploy Unity from the payload bay and connect it to the Russian-built Zarya control module which will be in orbit at that time. Unity will be the main connecting point for later U.S. station modules and components. More than 40 launches are planned over five years involving the resources and expertise of 16 cooperating nations. Comprising the STS-88 crew are Commander Robert D. Cabana, Pilot Frederick W. "Rick" Sturckow, Mission Specialists Nancy J. Currie, Jerry L. Ross, James H. Newman and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev. Ross and Newman will make three spacewalks to connect power, data and utility lines and install exterior equipment KSC-98pc1359

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On Pad 17B, Cape Canaveral Air Station, the gantry holding the solid rocket boosters is moved into place next to the Delta II rocket carrying the Mars Polar Lander. The rocket will be used to launch the Mars Polar Lander on Jan. 3, 1999. The lander is a solar-powered spacecraft designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south pole in order to study the water cycle there. The lander also will help scientists learn more about climate change and current resources on Mars, studying such things as frost, dust, water vapor and condensates in the Martian atmosphere. It is the second spacecraft to be launched in a pair of Mars '98 missions. The first is the Mars Climate Orbiter, to be launched aboard a Delta II rocket from Launch Complex 17A in December 1998 KSC-98pc1826

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Service Structure driver (inside the cab near bottom of photo) begins rolling back the Rotating Service Structure on Launch Pad 39A to reveal the Space Shuttle Endeavour with its external tank and two solid rocket boosters on top of the Mobile Launcher Platform. Endeavour is ready for launch of mission STS-88 targeted for 3:56 a.m. on Dec. 3. The first U.S. launch for the International Space Station, STS-88 is expected to last 11 days, 19 hours and 49 minutes, and land at 10:17 p.m. EST on Dec. 14. Endeavour carries the Unity connecting module which the crew will be mating with the Russian-built Zarya control module already in orbit. In addition to Unity, two small replacement electronics boxes are on board for possible repairs to Zarya batteries KSC-98pc1747

At Pad 17A, Cape Canaveral Air Station, a Boeing Delta II rocket waits with its four solid rocket boosters for final preparations to launch the Stardust satellite on Feb. 6, 1999. The rocket will carry Stardust into space for a close encounter with the comet Wild 2 in January 2004. Using a medium called aerogel, Stardust will capture comet particles flying off the nucleus of the comet, plus collect interstellar dust for later analysis. The collected samples will return to Earth in a Sample Return Capsule to be jettisoned as Stardust swings by Earth in January 2006 KSC-99pc36

At Launch Pad 39B, two holes caused by hail on Space Shuttle Discovery's external tank (ET) are visible. Left of the tank is one of the solid rocket boosters. Workers are investigating the damage and potential problems for launch posed by ice forming in the holes, which may number as many as 150 over the entire tank. The average size of the holes is one-half inch in diameter and one-tenth inch deep. The external tank contains the liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer and supplies them under pressure to the three space shuttle main engines in the orbiter during liftoff and ascent. The ET thermal protection system consists of sprayed-on foam insulation. The Shuttle Discovery is targeted for launch of mission STS-96 on May 20 at 9:32 a.m KSC-99pp0517

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At a juncture in the crawlerway, a crawler transporter slowly moves Space Shuttle Discovery, with its external tank and solid rocket boosters, toward High Bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building to repair damage to the external tank's foam insulation caused by hail. The necessary repair work could not be performed at Pad 39B due to limited access to the damaged areas. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to the pad by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to roll back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment KSC-99pp0534

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The Space Shuttle Discovery, dwarfed by its external tank and solid rocket boosters, is in position in High Bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building for repair of damage to the external tank's foam insulation caused by hail. The Shuttle was rolled back from Pad 39B this morning because access to all of the damaged areas was not possible at the pad. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to the pad by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to roll back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment KSC-99pp0536

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the early light of dawn, a crawler transporter moves Space Shuttle Discovery, with its external tank and solid rocket boosters, from Pad 39B back to the Vehicle Assembly Building for repair of damage to the external tank foam insulation caused by hail. The necessary repair work could not be performed at the pad due to limited access to the damaged areas. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to the pad by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to roll back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment KSC-99pp0527

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- At a juncture in the crawlerway, a crawler transporter slowly moves Space Shuttle Discovery, with its external tank and solid rocket boosters, to High Bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building to repair damage to the external tank's foam insulation caused by hail. The necessary repair work could not be performed at Pad 39B due to limited access to the damaged areas. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to the pad by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to be rolled back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment KSC-99pp0533

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A crawler transporter moves Space Shuttle Discovery, with its external tank and solid rocket boosters, from Pad 39B back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at left to repair damage to the external tank's foam insulation caused by hail. The external tank-solid rocket booster stack for mission STS-93, which was moved out of High Bay 1 to make room for Discovery, can be seen in the background between Discovery and the VAB. The necessary repair work could not be performed at the pad due to limited access to the damaged areas. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to Pad 39B by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to roll back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment KSC-99pp0531

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A crawler transporter moves Space Shuttle Discovery, hidden by its external tank and solid rocket boosters, from Pad 39B back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for repair of damage to the external tank foam insulation caused by hail. The external tank/solid rocket booster stack for mission STS-93 was moved out of High Bay 1 to make room for Discovery and can be seen on the horizon between Discovery and the VAB. The necessary repair work could not be performed at the pad due to limited access to the damaged areas. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to Pad 39B by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to roll back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment KSC-99pp0529

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A crawler transporter slowly maneuvers Space Shuttle Discovery, with its external tank and solid rocket boosters, into High Bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building to repair damage to the external tank's foam insulation caused by hail. The necessary repair work could not be performed at Pad 39B due to limited access to the damaged areas. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to the pad by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to roll back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment KSC-99pp0535

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On a beautiful Florida morning, a crawler transporter moves Space Shuttle Discovery (right, nearly hidden behind its external tank and solid rocket boosters) from Pad 39B back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at left to repair damage to the external tank's foam insulation caused by hail. The external tank-solid rocket booster stack for mission STS-93 was moved out of High Bay 1, which awaits Discovery's arrival with its door open. The necessary repair work could not be performed at the pad due to limited access to the damaged areas. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to Pad 39B by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to roll back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment KSC-99pp0530

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Casting a giant shadow across the crawlerway, a crawler transporter slowly maneuvers Space Shuttle Discovery, with its external tank and solid rocket boosters, toward High Bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building to repair damage to the external tank's foam insulation caused by hail. The necessary repair work could not be performed at Pad 39B due to limited access to the damaged areas. The work is expected to take two to three days, allowing Discovery to roll back to the pad by midweek for launch of mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program. This is only the 13th time since 1981 that a Shuttle has had to roll back from the pad. Liftoff will occur no earlier than May 27. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment KSC-99pp0532

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The STS-93 stack of solid rocket boosters and external tank sits at the Mobile Launcher Platform park site waiting for lightning shield wires to be installed on the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) in the background. The stack is being temporarily stored outside the VAB while Space Shuttle Discovery undergoes repair to hail damage in High Bay 1. Discovery was rolled back from Pad 39B to the VAB for repairs because access to all of the damaged areas was not possible at the pad. The STS-93 stack will be moved under the wires at the VAB for protection until Discovery returns to the pad, later this week. The scheduled date for launch of mission STS-96 is no earlier than May 27. STS-93 is targeted for launch on July 22, carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory KSC-99pp0559

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- As the STS-93 stack of solid rocket boosters and external tank moves toward the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), it passes underneath one of the lightning shield wires strung from the roof of the VAB for protection. The stack is temporarily being stored outside while repair work is being done inside on the hail-damaged external tank of Space Shuttle Discovery. Discovery was rolled back from Pad 39B to the VAB for repairs because access to all of the damaged areas was not possible at the pad. The STS-93 stack is expected to be moved back into the VAB after Discovery returns to the pad. The scheduled date for launch of mission STS-96 is no earlier than May 27. STS-93 is targeted for launch on July 22, carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory KSC-99pp0557

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The STS-93 stack of solid rocket boosters and external tank nears the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) where it will sit underneath the lightning shield wires strung from the roof of the VAB for protection. The stack is temporarily being stored outside while repair work is being done inside on the hail-damaged external tank of Space Shuttle Discovery. Discovery was rolled back from Pad 39B to the VAB for repairs because access to all of the damaged areas was not possible at the pad. The STS-93 stack is expected to be moved back into the VAB after Discovery returns to the pad. The scheduled date for launch of mission STS-96 is no earlier than May 27. STS-93 is targeted for launch on July 22, carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory KSC-99pp0558

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The STS-93 stack of solid rocket boosters and external tank moves toward the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) after lightning shield wires were strung from the roof of the VAB for protection. The stack is temporarily being stored outside the VAB while repair work is being done inside on the hail-damaged external tank of Space Shuttle Discovery. Discovery was rolled back from Pad 39B to the VAB for repairs because access to all of the damaged areas was not possible at the pad. The STS-93 stack is expected to be moved back into the VAB after Discovery returns to the pad. The scheduled date for launch of mission STS-96 is no earlier than May 27. STS-93 is targeted for launch on July 22, carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory KSC-99pp0556