Six veteran astronauts may be busy gearing up to launch on NASA's space shuttle Discovery this week, but that doesn't mean they don't know how to have fun. Case in point: a recent goofy snapshot alongside their ride to space.
Discovery's five-man, one-woman crew hammed it up on the 195-foot walkway of Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the shuttle sat awaiting launch. Liftoff is currently scheduled for Nov. 3 at 3:52 p.m. EDT (1952 GMT). [Photo: Goofy photo of Discovery's last crew]
Despite being clad in bulky orange spacesuits, Discovery's astronaut crew struck strongman (and strongwoman) poses, flexing their space muscles by what some consider to be the ultimate muscle spacecraft.
The astronauts were taking a break during a simulated launch countdown Oct. 15 at the time the photo was taken for NASA by photographer Kim Shiflett. From left are, pilot Eric Boe, mission specialist Michael Barratt, commander Steve Lindsey, and mission specialists Tim Kopra, Nicole Stott, and Alvin Drew.
Shuttle Discovery's final mission will visit the International Space Station to deliver a new storage room ? the last major U.S. component of the space station ? and a robotic astronaut helper called Robonaut 2. It will be the 39th flight of Discovery and the 133rd shuttle mission for NASA.
NASA is retiring its three-orbiter fleet in 2011 to make way for a new space plan that will shift toward using commercial spacecraft to send astronauts into low-Earth orbit, as well as develop new vehicles to explore near-Earth asteroids and Mars.
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Follow SPACE.com Staff Writer Denise Chow on Twitter @denisechow as she covers Discovery's final space voyage from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Click here for mission updates, new stories and a link to NASA's live webcast coverage.