Shuttle "Discovery":
Pre-Flight Activities, Rarely Seen by the General Public

These photos deserve a wide viewing audience: the amount of thought and engineering that goes into every launch is immense; each successful take-off represents the Mankind's finest effort, and is a wonder to behold.



External tank arrives by barge from Louisiana:




External tank approaches Vertical Assembly Building (VAB):


Removing external tank:








Preparing to lift the tank to vertical:


Lifting the tank:


Solid rockets are attached:


Orbiter: External tank with Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB):


Engines are attached to the shuttle in the Orbiter Processing Facility:








Shuttle in sling ready for lift in VAB:


Shuttle has been moved to VAB and will be attached to external tank:




Shuttle is attached:








Payload Preparation in Space Station Processing Facility:




Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM):


Payload carrier leaves Canister Rotation Facility:




Payload being moved to Launch Pad:




Lifting payload into position for insertion into "Discovery"
when it arrives at the pad:






Shuttle "Discovery" leaves VAB:




Trip to launch:
Length - 3 1/2 miles
Time - 6-8 hours
Arrow indicates the Launch Pad.




Crawler Control:




"Discovery" arrives at Pad:


Payload is also inside the Launch Pad:








Ready for Launch:


We Have Lift Off !


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