Space Shuttle Discovery makes the climb to Launch Pad 39B aboard the mobile launcher platform and crawler transporter. The crawler is able to keep its cargo level during the move up the five percent grade, not varying from the vertical more than the diameter of a soccer ball. At right are the rotating and fixed service structures which will be used during prelaunch preparations at the pad. Earlier in the week, the Shuttle was rolled back to the VAB from the pad to repair hail damage on the external tank's foam insulation. Mission STS-96, the 94th launch in the Space Shuttle Program, is scheduled for liftoff May 27 at 6:48 a.m. EDT. STS-96 is a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station, carrying such payloads as a Russian crane, the Strela; a U.S.-built crane; the Spacehab Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS), a logistics items carrier; and STARSHINE, a student-shared experiment. (Photo Release Date: 05/20/1999 )
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