Traveling atop a gigantic, Apollo-era crawler transporter, the space shuttle Discovery embarked on its six-hours-long journey, its last one, from the capacious Vehicle Assembly Building to the seaside Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
The shuttle is scheduled to take off on its final mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 1. The mission will pertain to the delivery of a storage room to the ISS, as well as a humanoid robot aide for the astronaut crew at the outpost.
On its way to the pad, the shuttle was cheered by hundreds of shuttle workers and their families, invited by NASA to view Discovery’s rollout from a viewing area close to the river rock-lined pad trek. Discovery’s 3 1/2-mile long journey to the pad marked a bittersweet experience for the US space agency, which has only two shuttle missions to go after the Discovery.