Decommissioning the Space Shuttles

Starting next month, NASA will begin delivering its four Space Shuttle orbiters to their final destinations. After an extensive decommissioning process, the fleet -- which includes three former working spacecraft and one test orbiter -- is nearly ready for public display. On April 17, the shuttle Discovery will be attached to a modified 747 Jumbo Jet for transport to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Virginia. Endeavour will go to Los Angeles in mid-September, and in early 2013, Atlantis will take its place on permanent display at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. Test orbiter Enterprise will fly to New York City next month. Gathered here are images of NASA's final days spent processing the Space Shuttle fleet.

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

Most Recent

  • Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

    Returning Syrian Kurds Find Recaptured Kobani in Ruins

    Late last year, after months of assault by ISIS militants, many had given up the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani as lost. The fight continued through the winter, until monitors and spokesmen for the the Kurdish People's Protection Unit announced earlier this week that ISIS forces had been driven from Kobani.

  • Maj. James Dalglish/AP

    On This Day: An Air Battle Over Belgium in 1945

    Seventy years ago, on January 27, 1945, a German pilot was captured on film after hastily exiting his damaged plane, hurtling through the air, legs outstretched, high above the frigid landscape of Belgium.

  • Kacper Pempel/Reuters

    Remembering Auschwitz: 70 Years After Liberation

    ​Tuesday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which this year marks the passage of 70 years since the January 27, 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland by Soviet soldiers.

  • Altaf Qadri/AP

    Photos of the Week: 1/17-1/23

    This week we have scenes of India's preparation for Republic Day, a new image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, a Chinese home-made mechanical horse, K-Pop hopefuls in Seoul, a volcano that has been creating a new island near Tonga, and much more.

Join the Discussion