This International Space Fellowship article reports technicians in Orbiter Processing Facility-3, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, are preparing space shuttle Discovery for its transport to the Vehicle Assembly Building on Jan. 7.
From the article: "The vehicle will be jacked up and its wheels secured to enable the Orbiter Transport System, or OTS, to slide underneath it for the short trip.
Meanwhile, work to remove and replace the shuttle’s side hatch tiles is progressing and will continue though the holiday.
Discovery’s payload, the S6 truss segment and solar arrays are scheduled to be loaded into the transport canister Jan. 7 and transferred to the launch pad Jan. 11.
At NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, the STS-119 astronauts are in the Motion Base Simulator practicing launch procedures.
The simulator is a mock-up of a shuttle cockpit, balanced on a hydraulic platform that is loaded with the same instruments and equipment of a real shuttle. The hydraulics give the sensation of a launching shuttle and flight scenario software provides the commander, pilot and two mission specialists with an astonishingly accurate liftoff practice session.
Launch of Discovery to deliver the final set of solar arrays to the International Space Station is targeted for Feb. 12, 2009."