Endeavour Makes an Unusual Move

Endeavour Makes an Unusual Move
10.29.08
 
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Space shuttle Endeavour has completed an unusual journey.

No, it wasn't its upcoming mission into space – in fact, the winged spacecraft hasn't even left the ground at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

In preparation for launch on its STS-126 mission, Endeavour moved from the spaceport's Launch Pad 39B to nearby pad 39A.

This is only the third time in more than 25 years that a shuttle has been moved from one pad to the other.

The shuttle began the 8-hour "rollaround" at 8:28 a.m. Eastern time, and was in place on Pad A at 4:37 p.m.

Endeavour and its mobile launcher platform were carried by the giant crawler-transporter, which crept along at less than a mile an hour.

But instead of taking a direct route to its destination, the shuttle had to take a bit of a detour.

The crawler-transporter can only travel on a special road called the crawlerway, which is designed to handle the shuttle's enormous weight.

There is no crawlerway linking the two pads, so Endeavour rolled back to the point where the roads to the launch pads meet.

The shuttle then proceeded toward Launch Pad 39A.

Now that Endeavour is in place, technicians have installed the payload and will continue preparing the shuttle for its STS-126 mission to the International Space Station.

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