Space Shuttle Atlantis moved to the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) - 9 March 2012

On 9 March 2012, Space Shuttle Discovery and Space Shuttle Atlantis switched places, with Discovery going into temporary storage in the massive Vehicle Assembly Building and Atlantis going into Orbiter Processing Facility #1 to undergo final decommissioning before becoming a museum exhibit.

The tail of Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibits some of its missing parts. Gone are its three Main Engines and the distinctive Orbital Maneuvering System pods that flanked either side of the vertical stabilizer. Cosmetic replacements for all the missing parts will make Atlantis look whole again when it finally goes on display. The yellow ladder-like structure running along the top of Atlantis provides structural support to the Payload Bay Doors while on Earth. They are not needed in the weightless environment of space. The open door of High Bay #4 in the VAB is visible beyond where Discovery is going into temporary storage.
A view of Atlantis waiting to enter the Orbiter Processing Facility.
Atlantis will eventually be put on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
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