NASA sends shuttle Discovery to pad for last time

Sep 21, 2010 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer

(AP) -- Space shuttle Discovery is headed to the launch pad for the last time.

NASA moved Discovery out of its hangar Monday night. The 3 1/2-mile trip to the pad was bittersweet for the space agency, which has only two shuttle missions remaining.

Discovery is set to lift off Nov. 1 for the . Endeavour will follow in February to wrap up 30 years of shuttle flight.

Scores of shuttle workers and their families gathered to watch Discovery take its last ride to the pad atop a giant transporter.

Several hundred contract employees will lose their jobs Oct. 1 in a continuing wave of layoffs. NASA's future is uncertain because of disagreement in Washington over the next rocketships.

Explore further: Boeing will be first to carry US astronauts to space

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