Space Shuttle Discovery Moves Closer to August Launch
Space shuttle Discovery rolled out of its Orbiter Processing Facility 3 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and headed for the massive Vehicle Assembly Building (at left) on July 26, 2009 for launch preparations for the STS-128 mission on Aug. 25.
Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

CAPE CANAVERAL - The orbiter Discovery is in the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building today after a move Sunday from its nearby processing hangar.

Mounted atop a 76-wheel transporter, the spaceship was backed out of its hangar around 7:22 a.m. and rolled into the 52-story assembly building about an hour later.

Discovery is tentatively scheduled to launch Aug. 25 on an International Space Station outfitting mission. Its move into the assembly building was delayed so engineers could perform tests on its external tank.

An unusual amount of foam loss was noted on Endeavour's intertank area during its July 15 launch. Engineers tested Discovery's tank to ensure that the problem would not recur on NASA's next mission to the station.

Discovery's flight will be the 128th shuttle mission and the 30th devoted to station assembly. It is one of seven remaining before the shuttle fleet is retired late next year.

SPACE.com is providing continuous coverage of STS-127 with reporter Clara Moskowitz and senior editor Tariq Malik in New York. Click here for mission updates and SPACE.com's live NASA TV video feed.

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