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Archive for the ‘orbiter processing facility #1’ Category

One of three engines in lifted and reinstalled in Discover the morning of December 5, 2011. The engines are not the actual engines that flew on Discovery although they look the same.

December 5, 2011 … today the first of the three engines of the Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) was reinstalled on the shuttle. It took about four hours. The other two engines were to be installed later in the week. Discovery will go to the Smithsonian at Dulles Airport, Washington, DC. She is expected to be sent there in April 2012.

Discovery by several estimates is now about 85-percent ready for the museum. In a few weeks she will be entirely ready and then they will figure out how to get her to Washington. Almost certainly she will be flown there on the back of a 747. Shuttles were returned to Florida on the back of one of two NASA Boeing 747s when they landed somewhere else besides Florida.

Discovery is expected to weigh about two-thirds of her fully tricked out flying weight of 190-tons because of all that has been removed from her. The 190-tons was base weight, without payload.
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Engine which is about to be placed back into Engine Slot #1 on the Shuttle Discovery.

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Rear of the Shuttle Discovery from high in OPF-1 (Orbiter Processing Facility #1). There were three OPFs — only two remain now that OPF-3 have been turned over to Boeing. A total of five operational shuttles were built, but because NASA never had more than four at any one time, only three OPFs were needed — one for three of the shuttles, while the fourth shuttle was either in orbit, or in the VAB or on the pad preparing for flight.

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The engine being replaced is in the center of the picture. The back of the shuttle is on the left. The bay doors of OPF-1 are on the right. OPF-1 is just a few yards from the Vehicle Assembly Building. OPF-2 is beside it, and OPF-3 is across the street.

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The tail of the shuttle Discovery is in top center of this photo. The engine, still on the carrier, is in the center of this photograph.

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This panel is on the starboard side, rear, of the shuttle and opens into the back end of the shuttle. Here assistants can help in the installation of the shuttle engines or in their removal.

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This is inside the rear of the shuttle. To the upper left the engine is being installed. A man, with his hand holding onto a railing, is seen in the center left of this picture.

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The engine is nearly installed. This picture was taken a moment after my photograph inside the rear of the shuttle was taken. A white room, where booties are required on feet, and id cards must be surrendered, is adjacent where the cargo bay of the shuttle is located. No one is allowed into OFP-1 with cell phones or any device, such as remote car door openers, which emit an electrical signal.

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This is the cargo bay of the Shuttle Discovery looking toward the front of the shuttle. We are on the starboard side looking toward the port side. With the shuttle program over, few reporters or photographers show up for NASA events. Only 178 registered for the November launch of the Mars Science Laboratory launch. Less than ten expressed interest in spending half a day in OPF-1 watching the engines be replaced — and only 5 photographers and reporters actually showed up.

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The media was given wide access to the shuttle, although they could not step on board. Here Pete Crow lies on his back under the front nose wheel of the shuttle and photographs the underside of the shuttle looking backward toward the tail. And, yes, those are his feet on the bottom right of the picture to give size perspective to this photograph.

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A conference room sits just off the back rear of the shuttle near the large entry doors.

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Entry to the OPFs is tightly controlled. Without a card, you can neither enter nor leave without triggering alarms. As you enter the OPF you are facing a desk where access is further controlled. Moreover, at strategic places, people sit with desks monitoring what tools are passing various points, logging them — and workers — in and out. Foreign objects inadvertently left on board the shuttle could have been fatal in space. This is a side view of the entry point desk. The shuttle is on our left, and the conference room (above) is on our right.

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.”petecrow/NASA” © 2011 by / Peter M. Crow and the Peter Michael Crow Trust and by Seine/Harbour® Productions, LLC, Studio City, California.

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