Shuttle swap spawns nose-to-nose showdown


Posted: August 11, 2011

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Two space shuttle orbiters swapped places at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday as NASA prepares the retired spaceships for public display in museums.

The shuttle Endeavour backed out of its processing hangar as Discovery was towed from its storage location inside the mammoth Vehicle Assembly Building. The orbiters were briefly seen together on the tow road between the processing facilities and the VAB.

After keeping Discovery inside the VAB since mid-July, workers will renew their focus on NASA's shuttle fleet leader and get it ready to depart the space center next spring bound for the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in suburban Washington.

Endeavour will take a break from retirement preparations as Atlantis continues safing activities following its return from the last space shuttle flight in July.

Photo credit: NASA/Frankie Martin

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