[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
In pictures: Shuttle readied
Shuttle Discovery being moved
1 of 11
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
2 of 11
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
3 of 11
Once inside the building the orbiter is hauled into the air by an overhead crane.
Shuttle being winched upright
4 of 11
Slowly but surely it is tilted upright...
Shuttle hanging vertically
5 of 11
...until it is hanging vertically.
Underside of the shuttle
6 of 11
The points where the external fuel tank locks onto the shuttle can be clearly seen on the spacecraft's underside.
Shuttle raised by crane
7 of 11
Once vertical, the shuttle is raised into the roof of the building...
Shuttle hangs above fuel tank
8 of 11
...until it dangles high above the fuel tank and solid rocket boosters.
Shuttle lowered onto fuel tank
9 of 11
Once aligned it is lowered into position.
Shuttle lowered onto fuel tank
10 of 11
Sliding down the length of the fuel tank...
Shuttle couple with fuel tanks
11 of 11
...until it is locked into place. It is due to be moved to the launch pad on Monday - and to blast off in May.



RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific