Space Shuttle Discovery at the Mate/Demate Device
14 April 2012
At the south end of the Shuttle Landing Facility, Space Shuttle Discovery hangs a few feet off the ground inside the Mate/Demate Device (MDD) undergoing final preparation for the trip to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.
The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a 747 modified to carry a Space Shuttle on its back, waits behind the MDD as Discovery is prepared for its final voyage.
Once hanging in the MDD, Discovery's wheels will be retracted and Discovery will then be hoisted to the top of the MDD. Once up there, the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft will pull into the MDD and Discovery will be lowered onto the 747. Note Discovery's wheels are off the ground.
A side view showing the rig for hoisting Discovery in the MDD.
An image of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft showing the attach points for carrying a Space Shuttle on its upper fuselage.
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