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STS-133: Discovery's Last Ride
Like a Broadway star ready for the final performance, space shuttle Discovery took center stage
as it emerged through the Vehicle Assembly Building's towering door.
The shuttle began its 3.4-mile journey to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center just after sunset,
departing the mammoth building shortly before 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight time on September 20.
As it moved down the crawlerway, Discovery was illuminated by
bright xenon lights during the first part of its trek.
The spacecraft -- NASA's longest-serving shuttle in the fleet --
will make its final flight on the STS-133 mission to the International Space Station.
Gathering to witness one of the final space shuttle rollouts and share the moment of
space history were several astronauts, as well as Kennedy employees along with their families and friends.
Stacked with its solid rocket boosters and external fuel tank on the mobile launcher platform,
the shuttle's slow roll atop a crawler-transporter took about six and a half hours,
reaching the seaside launch pad just before 2 a.m.
On this final flight, Discovery will carry the Permanent Multipurpose Module,
Robonaut 2, and various supplies and equipment bound for the station.
A crew of six astronauts will conduct the 11-day mission, which is targeted for launch in early November.
From NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, I'm George Diller.
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