And…we are go for liftoff.

10 08 2012

Endeavour at the VAB, Kennedy Space Center. Photo credit: C. A. Johnson-Roehr

I’ve returned to this post to add the above photo, which was taken by my partner during the #MSL #NASATweetup last November. That’s the Space Shuttle Endeavour during decommissioning. Over a period of several months, every Shuttle went through a decontamination process, with some toxic elements shipped offsite for remediation. During the same time period, NASA harvested select components, like the orbital maneuvering system (OMS) pods and the main engines, for potential re-use in next-generation spacecraft. While we were at Kennedy Space Center for the MSL launch, we were fortunate to be escorted into the VAB for an up-close and personal look at Endeavour right after the OMS and Forward Reaction Control System (FRCS) came out. I’d show you more views of Endeavour in the VAB, but apparently my partner and I were both too busy staring and saying things like, “Oh my god, it’s RIGHT THERE!” to take photos.

I won’t make that mistake the next time I see Endeavour. And I will see Endeavour again. I just purchased a plane ticket to Los Angeles and while I’m going to be doing some “real work” while I’m there, I’m planning on walking/running as much of the twelve mile route between LAX and the California Science Center as the people in charge of move will allow. I’ve got plans to go up to Mount Wilson Observatory while I’m in the area as well, so this page should be overflowing with photos and commentary come the middle of October. Fun times ahead!



Observatories and Instruments