The space shuttle Atlantis will be transported to its launch pad this week for a late November liftoff carrying a secret military satellite.
The shuttle's giant tracked transporter is scheduled to set out from an assembly building at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for the four-mile, six-hour journey to Launch Pad 39B.Officials had scheduled the rollout for early Tuesday, but said a 24-hour delay was forced to reconnect a loose wire in a fuel line system.
There will be only a few spectators, in contrast to July 4 when Discovery made its trip to the launch pad for the first post-Challenger shuttle flight.
Discovery moved out into the glare of huge floodlights and was greeted by music, thousands of space center workers, a flag-bedecked grandstand, and NASA officials and an astronaut who made speeches hailing a major step toward America's return to space.
The space agency said the lack of fanfare for Atlantis' rollout does not reflect the fact that the vehicle will carry into space a classified intelligence-gathering satellite for the Defense Department.
Officials said Discovery's move was a one-time celebration, marking the first time a shuttle had gone to the launch pad since the shuttle Challenger exploded and killed seven astronauts on Jan. 28, 1986.
Discovery was launched Sept. 29 with five astronauts who deployed a communications satellite and completed a successful four-day mission.
Now that the shuttles are flying again, officials said they are returning to a more normal way of doing things. Shuttles almost always move to the pad in the early morning because the weather is usually better .