Friday, March 30, 2012

Space Shuttle Decommissioned, Space News, Photos

NASA's space shuttles get taken apart

The Space Shuttle program might be over, but the spacecraft still needed to be readied for retirement. They need to be cleaned of toxic space goo, have their main engines replaced with replicas and have all types of technical folk poke at them to keep them from flying off into space in the middle of the night.

We've already showed you the 21 critical steps to preparing the shuttle for launch, now follow the shuttle through to see how it's decommissioned and carted off to museums across the U.S. for a hard-earned rest.

There are tons more photos over at The Atlantic, so be sure to give them a visit if want to see how the entire space shuttle decommissioning process unfolds. Trust me, it's worth it, if just for ogling all the shuttle porn.

In Orbiter Processing Facility-2, Lord Stanley's Cup sits in the flight deck of space shuttle Atlantis, on January 18, 2012. The Stanley Cup was awarded to the Boston Bruins after winning the 2011 National Hockey League Championship. Jeremy Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Delaware North Companies and owner of the Boston Bruins, had brought the cup to Florida for Kennedy and Delaware North employees to view and take photographs. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

The space shuttle Atlantis is moved towards the huge Vertical Assembly Building for work in its decommissioning at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on January 20, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Skipper)

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Endeavour creeps toward the open door of Orbiter Processing Facility-1, on August 11, 2011. (NASA/Jim Grossmann)

Space shuttle Atlantis arrives in the transfer aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on its move from Orbiter Processing Facility-2, on January 20, 2012. (NASA/Jim Grossmann)

In Orbiter Processing Facility-2 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the flight deck of space shuttle Atlantis is illuminated one last time during preparations to power down Atlantis during Space Shuttle Program transition and retirement activities, on December 22, 2011. Atlantis is being prepared for public display in 2013 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. (NASA/Jim Grossmann)

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center, space shuttles Discovery (right) and Endeavour go their separate ways outside Orbiter Processing Facility-3 where they paused for a unique "nose-to-nose" photo opportunity, on August 11, 2011. Discovery, which temporarily was being stored in the Vehicle Assembly Building, was switching places with Endeavour, which has been undergoing decommissioning in OPF-1.(NASA/Frankie Martin)

In Orbiter Processing Facility-1, workers disconnect and dismantle components on shuttle Endeavour's cockpit, on June 29, 2011.(NASA/Kim Shiflett)

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Atlantis is towed toward Orbiter Processing Facility-1, on March 9, 2012. At left, space shuttle Discovery is being towed to the VAB. Discovery will soon be transported to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Virginia, and Atlantis is being prepared for display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. (NASA/Tim Jacobs)

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