Space Shuttle Discovery was moved from Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building to the Shuttle Landing Facility shortly after 4am this morning, beginning mate operations to place the orbiter atop a NASA modified 747 shuttle carrier aircraft for her final flight to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum early next week.
Overcast skies and high winds dominated the weather throughout much of the day, delaying the lift operations and keeping Discovery on the ground until at least 5am Sunday. Workers securing Discovery to the mate / demate structure at Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility were running ahead of schedule but could not control the winds, and called today’s lift postponement at 3:30pm. Weather forecasts for Sunday call for much of the same as Saturday, with high winds and cloudy skies expected. Should NASA have to again delay Discovery’s lift and mate operations Sunday, the departure date would slip as well from Tuesday to at least Wednesday.
Stay with Americaspace for complete coverage of Discovery’s trip from Kennedy Space Center to the Smithsonian.
All Photos Credit: Mike Killian