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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
In pictures: Shuttle readied
Shuttle Discovery being moved
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The US space agency Nasa is preparing for its first space shuttle launch since Columbia burned up on re-entry more than two years ago.
Shuttle moves into the Vehicle Assembly Building
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On Thursday, the space shuttle Discovery was rolled into the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) - one of the largest buildings in the world - at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Shuttle being lifted by crane
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Once inside the building the orbiter is hauled into the air by an overhead crane.
Shuttle being winched upright
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Slowly but surely it is tilted upright...
Shuttle hanging vertically
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...until it is hanging vertically.
Underside of the shuttle
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The points where the external fuel tank locks onto the shuttle can be clearly seen on the spacecraft's underside.
Shuttle raised by crane
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Once vertical, the shuttle is raised into the roof of the building...
Shuttle hangs above fuel tank
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...until it dangles high above the fuel tank and solid rocket boosters.
Shuttle lowered onto fuel tank
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Once aligned it is lowered into position.
Shuttle lowered onto fuel tank
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Sliding down the length of the fuel tank...
Shuttle couple with fuel tanks
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...until it is locked into place. It is due to be moved to the launch pad on Monday - and to blast off in May.

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