NASA says space shuttle Discovery is to be attached to its external fuel tank next week, in preparation for its December space mission.
Discovery will be moved from the Orbiter Processing Facility to NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center next Wednesday, marking a milestone toward the launch of the next shuttle mission, designated STS-116.
In addition to the external fuel tank, the shuttle's twin solid rocket boosters will also be attached in preparation for the spacecraft's 11-day mission to the International Space Station.
The STS-116 crew of seven astronauts is to deliver a third truss segment and other key components to the ISS during the shuttle's 20th mission to the space station.
Discovery's launch window opens Dec. 7.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Mysteries of space dust revealed