Atlantis Rollover - 2 November 2012
Page One of Six
My friend Bob Killick and I were fortunate in getting a pass to attend the rollover of the Orbiter Atlantis to its new home at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The rollover was scheduled to take 12 hours and to keep all the visitors entertained NASA and its contractors put up educational booths and displays indoors and out all over the space center that included a lot of neat giveaways.
Exploration Park, a new NASA industrial park, was the center of the activities for the day. A large inflated astronaut greeted the visitors that included a limited number of the public, NASA employees, their families and guests, contractors, and politicians. Besides the exhibits, there was also barbeque and beer available.
Pictured is just a very small random sampling of some of the exhibits. This is the Crew Transportation Vehicle that the returning shuttle astronauts would exit into once the orbiter landed. From the interpretive panel, "It is a modified Plane Mate Passenger Transporter which provided enough room to hold fifteen post flight support personnel and the astronaut crew."
Two of the Space Shuttle's replacements together side by side. The large Orion Multi-Purpose Crew-Vehicle at right designed to take astronauts on journeys beyond Earth orbit and, at left, the SpaceX Dragon Crew Transport Engineering Model.
This is SpaceX's entry for NASA's Commercial Crew Program to take people into low Earth orbit, especially to the International Space Station.
The capsule is designed to carry seven astronauts in a tiered fashion, three below and four above. For short journeys it seemed adequate enough. Here can be seen the arrangement of couches inside the SpaceX Dragon capsule.
A model of Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser mini-space shuttle designed for the Commercial Crew Program. It too is designed to carry seven people into orbit.
The day featured a full slate of speakers from NASA and the aerospace industry plus a smattering of politicians. This is the view from the back of the stage looking toward the audience.
The crew of STS-135, the final mission of Space Shuttle Atlantis and the last flight of the Space Shuttle Program in July 2011, related interesting stories from that flight. From left, Mission Specialist 2 Rex Walheim, Mission Specialist 1 Sandy Magnus, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Commander Chris Ferguson. Go to Page Two of Six > > >
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