Dismantling the Space Shuttle Program

NASA's Space Shuttle program continues to wind down, with only two more launches planned -- the final one taking place in June (if funded). NASA Administrator Charles Bolden recently announced four facilities where shuttle orbiters will be displayed permanently in New York, California, Florida, and Washington, D.C. At Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Launch Pad 39B, originally designed for the Apollo program and later customized to support the Space Shuttle, is currently being taken apart in preparation for future missions with new, post-shuttle launch systems. Space Shuttle Discovery -- which landed for the final time last month after having flown 39 missions, traveling 148,221,675 miles -- now sits inside Orbiter Processing Facility-2, as it's inspected, disassembled, and prepared for its new life as a public exhibit. Collected here are some images of the 29-year old program's last days.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Ads are being blocked

For us to continue writing great stories, we need to display ads.

Un-block Learn more
Back

Whitelist

Please select the extension that is blocking ads.

Back

Please follow the steps below

Most Recent

  • China Daily China Daily Infor / REUTERS

    Photos of the Week: 9/24-9/30

    Typhoon Megi in China, a fuel tanker afire off the coast of Mexico, the Surf Dog Competition in California, a mass skinny-dip in England, and much more.

  • John Moore / Getty

    On the Border

    The border between the United States and Mexico stretches 3,169 kilometers (1,969 miles), crossing deserts, rivers, towns, and cities from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico.

  • SIPA Asia via ZUMA Wire / Corbis

    The Beauty of Terraced Fields

    For thousands of years, when farmers in mountainous regions have expanded their farms to grow crops on the steep slopes, they have carved massive steps into the terrain.

  • Matthias Schrader / AP

    Fall Is in the Air

    It’s starting to feel like my favorite time of year once more—the autumnal equinox took place last week.

Join the Discussion