Space shuttle Atlantis began a sluggish move to the launch pad on Thursday in preparation for a mid-March mission to continue construction of the international space station.
The shuttle started the 3.4-mile journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building aboard the massive crawler-transporter vehicle at 8:19 a.m. The trip was expected to last six hours.
Atlantis is set to launch on March 15 for the first space shuttle mission of the year.
The six-man crew will deliver a new segment and a pair of solar arrays that will be used to power the space station.
NASA is hoping to launch four or five space shuttle missions this year, the most ambitious schedule since 2002.