Thursday, August 11, 2011

Shuttle Orbiters Get Up Close And Personal

NASA’s shuttle orbiters Discovery and Endeavour came together for an unusual nose-to-nose photo opportunity Thursday as the decommissioning of the winged spaceships continued at Kennedy Space Center.

Scores of NASA and contractor workers watched on as fleet-leader Discovery moved to Orbiter Processing Facility Bay No. 1 from temporary storage in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Endeavour made a mirror image move, rolling out of the hangar and into temporary storage in the 52-story assembly building.

The shuttle switch was done to facilitate an ongoing effort to prepare the retied orbiters for museum display.

Discovery will be heading to National Air & Space Museum Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. Endeavour, built as a replacement for Challenger, will be put on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Atlantis, which will retire at the KSC Visitor Complex, is in Orbiter Processing Facility Bay No. 2, and OPF Bay No. 3 is be modified for potential use by a commercial company.

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