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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   On the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the orbiter Endeavour is ready to be towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility, known as the OPF.  At far left is the towering Vehicle Assembly Building.  Next to it, just on the horizon, are the OPF hangars.  Endeavour returned to Earth Aug. 21 from mission STS-118, landing at Kennedy at 12:32 p.m. EDT. In the OPF bay 2, Endeavour will incur thermal protection system inspections and numerous other post-flight inspections before processing starts for its next voyage into space.  Endeavour will next fly on mission STS-123 targeted for Feb. 14, 2008.  Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-07pd2361

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the orbiter Endeavour is ready to be towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility, known as the OPF. At far left is the towering Vehicle Assembly Building. Next to it, just on the horizon, are the OPF hangars. Endeavour returned to Earth Aug. 21 from mission STS-118, landing at Kennedy at 12:32 p.m. EDT. In the OPF bay 2, Endeavour will incur thermal protection system inspections and numerous other post-flight inspections before processing starts for its next voyage into space. Endeavour will next fly on mission STS-123 targeted for Feb. 14, 2008. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-07pd2361

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the orbiter Endeavour is ready to be towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility, known as the OPF. At far left is the towering Vehicle Assembly Building. Next to it, just on the horizon, are the OPF hangars. Endeavour returned to Earth Aug. 21 from mission STS-118, landing at Kennedy at 12:32 p.m. EDT. In the OPF bay 2, Endeavour will incur thermal protection system inspections and numerous other post-flight inspections before processing starts for its next voyage into space. Endeavour will next fly on mission STS-123 targeted for Feb. 14, 2008. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

The Space Shuttle program was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972. The Space Shuttle system—composed of an orbiter launched with two reusable solid rocket boosters and a disposable external fuel tank— carried up to eight astronauts and up to 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). When its mission was complete, the orbiter would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and lands as a glider. Although the concept had been explored since the late 1960s, the program formally commenced in 1972 and was the focus of NASA's manned operations after the final Apollo and Skylab flights in the mid-1970s. It started with the launch of the first shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981, on STS-1. and finished with its last mission, STS-135 flown by Atlantis, in July 2011.

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21/08/2007
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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Explorepost flight inspections

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The orbiter Endeavour is towed toward the open doors of bay 2 of the Orbiter Processing Facility, known as the OPF. Endeavour returned to Earth Aug. 21 from mission STS-118, landing at Kennedy at 12:32 p.m. EDT. In the OPF bay 2, Endeavour will incur thermal protection system inspections and numerous other post-flight inspections before processing starts for its next voyage into space. Endeavour will next fly on mission STS-123 targeted for Feb. 14, 2008. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-07pd2363

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) Processing Facility, Boeing-Rocketdyne technicians lift SSME 2058, the first SSME fully assembled at KSC. The engine is being lifted from its vertical work stand into a horizontal position in preparation for shipment to NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to undergo a hot fire acceptance test. It is the first of five engines to be fully assembled on site to reach the desired number of 15 engines ready for launch at any given time in the Space Shuttle program. A Space Shuttle has three reusable main engines. Each is 14 feet long, weighs about 7,800 pounds, is seven-and-a-half feet in diameter at the end of its nozzle, and generates almost 400,000 pounds of thrust. Historically, SSMEs were assembled in Canoga Park, Calif., with post-flight inspections performed at KSC. Both functions were consolidated in February 2002. The Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power division of The Boeing Co. manufactures the engines for NASA. KSC-04pd1643

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the orbiter Endeavour is ready to be towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility, known as the OPF. Endeavour returned to Earth Aug. 21 from mission STS-118, landing at Kennedy at 12:32 p.m. EDT. In the OPF bay 2, Endeavour will incur thermal protection system inspections and numerous other post-flight inspections before processing starts for its next voyage into space. Endeavour will next fly on mission STS-123 targeted for Feb. 14, 2008. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-07pd2359

A loadmaster performs post-flight inspections on the front of a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Air Wing

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The orbiter Endeavour is towed into bay 2 of the Orbiter Processing Facility, known as the OPF. Endeavour returned to Earth Aug. 21 from mission STS-118, landing at Kennedy at 12:32 p.m. EDT. In the OPF bay 2, Endeavour will incur thermal protection system inspections and numerous other post-flight inspections before processing starts for its next voyage into space. Endeavour will next fly on mission STS-123 targeted for Feb. 14, 2008. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-07pd2364

US Air Force (USAF) Airmen of the 379th Expeditionary Air Maintenance Squadron (EAMXS), perform a post flight inspections on USAF C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft at a forward deployed location during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM

US Air Force (USAF) SENIOR AIRMAN (SRA) Jorge Chavez, Life Support Floor Supervisor, 493rd Fighter Squadron (FS), 48th Fighter Wing (FW), does post flight inspections on life support equipment inside the life support section at Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath, United Kingdom (UK)

A pilot emerges from the cockpit of an F-16 Fighting Falcon as post-flight inspections are performed on the aircraft, during a recent Operational Readiness Exercise (ORE) at the 174th Fighter Wing (FW), Syracuse, New York

Explorepost flight

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- On the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, a tractor tow vehicle is backed up to space shuttle Discovery. Towing normally begins approximately within four hours after landing and is completed within six hours unless removal of time-sensitive experiments require an additional period on the runway. Umbilicals are attached to purge the vehicle of any possible residual explosive or toxic fumes. The tractor tow vehicle will pull Discovery along a two-mile tow-way to the Orbiter Processing Facility, or OPF, where processing Discovery for another flight begins. The tow vehicle is very much like the typical towing units used for large aircraft, but it is equipped with a special towing bar designed specifically for the orbiter. In the OPF, turnaround processing procedures on Discovery will include various post-flight deservicing and maintenance functions, which are carried out in parallel with payload removal and the installation of equipment needed for the next mission. Before post-flight deservicing can continue beyond initial safing operations, certain vehicle systems must be mechanically secured and access platforms installed. Discovery completed mission STS-120 with an on-time landing at 1:01 p.m. EST. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-07pd3211

Scott Kelly Post-Flight Visit to Washington

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astronauts from space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-135 mission visit with employees inside Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility-2, where space shuttle Atlantis is being prepared for eventual display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. The astronauts were at the center for the traditional post-flight crew return presentation. From left are Commander Chris Ferguson, Mission Specialist Sandra Magnus and Pilot Doug Hurley. STS-135 Mission Specialist Rex Walheim was unable to attend the Kennedy event. In July 2011, Atlantis and its crew delivered to the International Space Station the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module packed with more than 9,400 pounds of spare parts, equipment and supplies that will sustain station operations for the next year. STS-135 was the 33rd and final flight for Atlantis and the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts135/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-7042

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Outside Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility-1, STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson and Pilot Doug Hurley sign autographs for employees while Mission Specialist Sandra Magnus poses with a worker for a photograph. The astronauts were at the center for the traditional post-flight crew return presentation. STS-135 Mission Specialist Rex Walheim was unable to attend the Kennedy event. In July 2011, Atlantis and its crew delivered to the International Space Station the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module packed with more than 9,400 pounds of spare parts, equipment and supplies that will sustain station operations for the next year. STS-135 was the 33rd and final flight for Atlantis and the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts135/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-7061

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - NASA Administrator Mike Griffin talks with Commander Steven Lindsey (gesturing) after the crew looked over the orbiter Discovery, above them. Between Griffin and Lindsey are Mission Specialists Michael Fossum and Lisa Nowak. Mission Specialist Stephanie Wilson is behind Lindsey; Associate Administrator Rex Geveden is at right. The post-flight walk-around is a tradition. Discovery's smooth and perfect landing was on time at 9:14 a.m. EDT on Runway 15 of NASA's Shuttle Landing Facility after traveling 5.3 million miles on 202 orbits. Mission elapsed time was 12 days, 18 hours, 37 minutes and 54 seconds. The landing is the 62nd at Kennedy Space Center and the 32nd for Discovery. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-06pd1577

Scott Kelly Post-Flight Visit to Washington

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