The shuttle Discovery was hauled to its oceanside launch pad Friday for blastoff March 9 on an unclassified eight-day "Star Wars" research mission to learn more about detecting missiles in flight.

Mounted atop a ponderous crawler-transporter, Discovery and its mobile launch stand began the six-hour trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building to launch pad 39A.Engineers planned to install experimental Air Force and Strategic Defense Initiative - "Star Wars" - instruments in Discovery's cargo bay Saturday, but deteriorating weather could hamper other weekend work at the launch complex.