CAPE CANAVERAL, March 7th, 2012—With the shuttle program consisting of decommissions and retirement events, I was given a rare look inside and outside Shuttle Endeavour (OV-105).
Endeavour, which will arrive in California later this year, is under final decontamination and decommissioning preparations. The vehicle will then be prepped for flight by piggybacking on a NASA 747 jet, modified for ferrying of Shuttle orbiters.
Endeavour, the newest of the Shuttle Fleet has been undergoing display preparations off and on since it landed in the summer of 2011. Along with Shuttles Discovery and Atlantis, each are in various states of preparation for display, with Shuttle Discovery landing at The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in mid-April.
When Discovery lands, test flight Shuttle Enterprise will depart for New York’s Intrepid Museum. Endeavour will land in late 2012 destined for California’s Science Center. Shuttle Atlantis will remain in Florida, on display at Kennedy’s Space Center Visitor Complex.
Travis Thompson, who served as closeout crew lead for many shuttle missions said the retirement of the shuttles was bittersweet.
“We’re working with a different mission, to prep our shuttles for public display. Our team each feels like we own the shuttles having worked with them for so long. It is sad to see them go, but exciting to know they will be in good hands and will be seen by so many”
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