Space shuttle Atlantis will be moved to the launch pad early Wednesday for a late November liftoff with a secret military payload.
The four-mile, six-hour trip to Launch Pad 39B was scheduled to start at 12:01 a.m., with the shuttle perched upright on the broad back of a giant tracked transporter called a crawler.The move was delayed two days after a three-inch wire was discovered Saturday pinned beneath a nut and washer that are part of structure that attaches the shuttle to its external fuel tank.
Before the nut could be loosened to get at the wire, Atlantis had to be partially decoupled from the tank, to which it was attached last week.
Lisa Malone, a National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration spokeswoman, said the wire was removed Monday and engineers did not determine how it became lodged under the washer.
A launch date will be set Nov. 10 following a flight readiness review.