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Endeavour to the VAB

For its role as a rescue craft during the Hubble servicing mission and the scheduled November logistics run to the space station, Endeavour is moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

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STS-125: The mission

A detailed step-by-step preview of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-125 mission to extend the life and vision of the Hubble Space Telescope.

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STS-125: The EVAs

The lead spacewalk officer provides indepth explanations of the five EVAs to service Hubble during Atlantis' flight.

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STS-125: The crew

The seven shuttle Atlantis astronauts hold a press conference one month before their planned launch to Hubble.

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STS-125: NASA leaders

The leaders of NASA's Space Operations and Science directorates give their insights into the upcoming shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

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STS-125: Shuttle boss

The head of NASA's space shuttle program discusses the risks and plans for Atlantis' trek to Hubble.

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The Hubble program

An overview of the Hubble Space Telescope program and the planning that has gone into the final servicing mission.

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Hubble's future science

The new instruments to be installed into Hubble and the future science objectives for the observatory are previewed.

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Atlantis on the pad

Shuttle Atlantis makes the slow journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to launch pad 39A for the STS-125 mission to service Hubble.

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Meet the Hubble crew

Meet the crew launching on Atlantis' STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope and learn how each became an astronaut in this special biography movie.

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List of space shuttles occupying both launch pads
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Updated: April 15, 2009


Shuttle Discovery stands on pad 39B (left) and Columbia occupies pad 39A in this 1990 photo. Credit: NASA
 
Over the history of NASA's space shuttle program, it has been a rarity for both launch pads at Complex 39 to be occupied at the same time.

When space shuttle Endeavour moves to pad 39B on Friday to begin its role as a rescue vehicle for Atlantis' mission to the service the Hubble Space Telescope, it will mark just the 19th time that two flight-ready orbiters will be standing on the dual seaside pads.

An even more seldem event is two orbiters being fully visible on the launch pads simultaneously. A famous photo illustrating the view to behold when both rotating service gantries are opened to expose the orbiters can be seen above.

Here is a list of the previous times space shuttles have occuppied both launch pads:

  • 1. STS-61C (Columbia) and STS-51L (Challenger)

    - Dec. 22, 1985 (rollout of 51L to Pad B)
    until
    -Jan. 12, 1986 (launch of 61C from Pad A)

  • 2. STS-31 (Discovery) and STS-35 (Columbia)

    - April 22, 1990 (rollout of STS-35 to Pad A)
    until
    -April 24, 1990 (launch of STS-31 from Pad B)

  • 3. STS-35 (Columbia) and STS-41 (Discovery)

    - Sept. 4, 1990 (rollout of STS-41 to Pad B)
    until
    -Oct. 6, 1990 (launch of STS-41 from Pad B)

  • 4. STS-38 (Atlantis) and STS-35 (Columbia)

    - Oct. 14, 1990 (rollout of STS-35 to Pad B)
    until
    -Nov. 15, 1990 (launch of STS-38 from Pad A)

  • 5. STS-37 (Atlantis) and STS-39 (Discovery)

    - April 1, 1991 (rollout of STS-39 to Pad A)
    until
    -April 5, 1991 (launch of STS-37 from Pad B)

  • 6. STS-45 (Atlantis) and STS-49 (Endeavour)

    - March 13, 1992 (rollout of STS-49 to Pad B)
    until
    -March 24, 1992 (launch of STS-45 from Pad A)

  • 7. STS-50 (Columbia) and STS-46 (Atlantis)

    - June 11, 1992 (rollout of STS-46 to Pad B)
    until
    -June 25, 1992 (launch of STS-50 from Pad A)

  • 8. STS-56 (Discovery) and STS-55 (Columbia)

    - Feb. 7, 1993 (rollout of STS-55 to Pad A)
    until
    -April 8, 1993 (launch of STS-56 from Pad B)

  • 9. STS-64 (Discovery) and STS-68 (Endeavour)

    - Aug. 19, 1994 (rollout of STS-64 to Pad B)
    until
    -Aug. 24, 1994 (rollback to VAB of STS-68 from Pad A)

  • 10. STS-71 (Atlantis) and STS-70 (Discovery)

    - May 11, 1995 (rollout of STS-70 to Pad B)
    until
    -June 8, 1995 (rollback to VAB of STS-70 from Pad B)

  • 11. STS-71 (Atlantis) and STS-70 (Discovery)

    - June 15, 1995 (rollout of STS-70 to Pad B)
    until
    -June 27, 1995 (launch of STS-71 from Pad A)

  • 12. STS-70 (Discovery) and STS-69 (Endeavour)

    - July 6, 1995 (rollout of STS-69 to Pad A)
    until
    -July 13, 1995 (launch of STS-70 from Pad B)

  • 13. STS-69 (Endeavour) and STS-73 (Columbia)

    - Aug. 28, 1995 (rollout of STS-73 to Pad B)
    until
    -Sept. 7, 1995 (launch of STS-69 from Pad A)

  • 14. STS-73 (Columbia) and STS-74 (Atlantis)

    - Oct. 12, 1995 (rollout of STS-74 to Pad A)
    until
    -Oct. 20, 1995 (launch of STS-73 from Pad B)

  • 15. STS-95 (Discovery) and STS-88 (Endeavour)

    - Oct. 21, 1998 (rollout of STS-88 to Pad A)
    until
    -Oct. 29, 1998 (launch of STS-95 from Pad B)

  • 16. STS-103 (Discovery) and STS-99 (Endeavour)

    - Dec. 13, 1999 (rollout of STS-99 to Pad A)
    until
    -Dec. 19, 1999 (launch of STS-103 from Pad B)

  • 17. STS-104 (Atlantis) and STS-105 (Discovery)

    - July 2, 2001 (rollout of STS-105 to Pad A)
    until
    -July 12, 2001 (launch of STS-104 from Pad B)

  • 18. STS-125 (Atlantis) and STS-126 (Endeavour)

    - Sept. 19, 2008 (rollout of STS-126 to Pad B)
    until
    -Oct. 20, 2008 (rollback to VAB of STS-125 from Pad A)

  • John Glenn Mission Patch

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    The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.
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    Final Shuttle Mission Patch

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    The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!
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    Celebrate the shuttle program

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    This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!
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    Anniversary Shuttle Patch

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    This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
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    Mercury anniversary

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    Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
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    Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
    The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.
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