A Rare Final Look Inside Space Shuttle Atlantis | Popular Science

By Robert Z. Pearlman – CollectSPACE Posted 12.20.2011 at 2:00 pm 9 Comments

Space shuttle Atlantis, which only five months ago flew the final mission of NASA’s 30-year shuttle program, is now being prepared for its public display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. That means, sadly, that Atlantis is scheduled to be powered down for the very last time this week. Its insides are being shamelessly pulled out to ensure it’s safe for exhibit–it’s important to lighten the shuttle’s weight, since it’ll be displayed on a steep angle at Kennedy.

collectSPACE.com had the rare opportunity recently to tour Atlantis and photograph its preparation for display. This is one of the last times anyone will be able to capture Atlantis’s glass cockpit all lit up like this–and you’re privy to the pictures.

Click to launch the gallery.

The following photo gallery starts on Atlantis’ flight deck, and then proceeds to its now mostly empty middeck, out into and above the 60-foot payload bay, and then around and under the winged spacecraft.

These photographs were taken inside Orbiter Processing Facility-2 (OPF-2) at the Kennedy Space Center, where access platforms envelop Atlantis.

This post was syndicated from collectSPACE, the leading news source and online community for space history enthusiasts. The full post can be read here, with even more photos.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s