ET-138 to the VAB
NASA – Workers accompany External Tank-138 as it is transported to the Vehicle Assembly Building, seen in the background. The external fuel tank arrived in Florida on July 13, 2010 from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans.
ET-138, the last newly manufactured tank, was originally designated to fly on Endeavour’s STS-134 mission to the International Space Station, but later reassigned to fly on space shuttle Atlantis’ final mission, STS-135. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller
Technicians check the progress of the solid rocket booster segment after its lift from the work stand in the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston
Ready for Stacking
The Space Shuttle Program’s final solid rocket booster assembly is stationed in the transfer aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building. The right and left forward assemblies, which were refurbished and processed at Kennedy, are comprised of three components — nose cap, frustum and forward skirt.
Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building, the boosters will be stacked and then joined to an external fuel tank for shuttle Atlantis’ STS-135 mission to the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux
Landing Gear, Check!
Space shuttle Atlantis goes through a routine landing gear test in Orbiter Processing Facility-1 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Technicians are checking to make sure the shuttle’s wheels, brakes, elevons and body flap function properly.
Seen here, the nose landing gear is deployed. During a shuttle landing, the nose gear comes down after the main gear and helps the shuttle coast to a stop. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller
The tiles are part of the Orbiter Thermal Protection System that protects the shuttle against temperatures as high as 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which are produced during descent for landing. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller
Atlantis will deliver the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module packed with supplies, logistics and spare parts to the International Space Station on its STS-135 flight. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann