Friday, March 9, 2012


Atlantis enters OPF-1 this morning, perhaps for the final time.

Discovery in High Bay 4 this afternoon awaiting delivery to Washington, D.C. Both images copyright © 2012

The orbiters Atlantis and Discovery switched storage facilities this morning, part of the process that will eventually deliver them to museums.

Florida Today reports:

Discovery backed out of a KSC processing hangar for the last time and moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building, its last stop before a planned April 17 ferry flight to the Smithsonian Institution.

Atlantis left the assembly building's High Bay 4 and took over the vacant spot in Orbiter Processing Facility-1.

The moves began around 8:45 a.m. and finished within two hours.

According to the National Air & Space Museum web site, "a festival of activities" is planned for Discovery's arrival.

The festival will begin when the orbiter arrives in the D.C. area on April 17 and will feature four days of space-related activities, performances, appearances by space pioneers, films, and displays at the shuttle's new home, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Activities at the Center will kick off on April 19 when Discovery will be officially transferred by NASA into the Smithsonian's collection in an outdoor ceremony open to the public.

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