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Space shuttle to move to its launch pad

Space shuttle to move to its launch pad
NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis approaches Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center for an on time landing at 9:06 AM on Feb. 20, 2008. Atlantis and her crew completed a thirteen day mission, carrying the European Space Agency's Columbus module to the International Space Station. (UPI Photo/Joe Marino-Bill Cantrell) | License Photo

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. space agency is planning the first liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A since it was damaged during a May launch.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said space shuttle Atlantis will be moved early Saturday from the space center's Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad during a six-hour period.

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Atlantis is targeted to liftoff Oct. 8 on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

Repairs to Launch Pad 39A's flame trench wall were completed Aug. 5 after crews installed a steel grid structure and covered it in a heat-resistant material. The pad's north flame trench was damaged when bricks tore away from the wall during the May 31 launch of space shuttle Discovery.

The Atlantis STS-125 11-day mission will include five spacewalks. Atlantis will be commanded by Scott Altman, with Gregory Johnson serving as pilot. Astronauts will be John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, Megan McArthur, Andrew Feustel and Michael Good.

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