Getting closer!

mate3.jpg

At work we are getting a lot closer to actually launching again. The orbiter was just mated to the external tank and solid rocket boosters a couple of days ago, and the whole stack is almost ready to roll out to the launch pad, which is where Andy works, so he will be working a lot of overtime coming up. He is back on second shift so I am here by myself at night, but at least there is someone home with the dogs most of the time. Here are some incredible photos of the stacking process, where the orbiter is mated to the rest of the stack. These are not photos that I took, but they were emailed to me. There is only a very minimum of people allowed in the Vehicle Assembly Building during the procedure, because in a worst case scenario a booster could light off and suck every bit of oxygen out of the building and kill everyone in a split second. It is quite a dangerous operation. I hope you enjoy the photos of a delicate operation that the public rarely gets to see.

mate5.jpg

mate7.jpg

mate8.jpg

mate9.jpg

mate11.jpg

mate12.jpg

mate16.jpg

Neat, huh?

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  1. #1 by Rob on May 17, 2006 - 9:39 pm

    The “mate9.jpg” is just freakin’ unbelievable!!!

  2. #2 by Melanie on May 17, 2006 - 9:57 pm

    Those are amazing pictures! (running to tell the kids to come look….)

  3. #3 by Aleka on May 18, 2006 - 9:29 pm

    That is just plain old amazing!

  4. #4 by Eric on May 19, 2006 - 12:36 pm

    Terrific pictures. Thanks for posting them

  5. #5 by Stacey on May 23, 2006 - 12:00 pm

    I’m on vacation for a few days, and I miss all the fun stuff! These photos are incredible. Thanks for sharing!

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