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Discovery Ready For Mate-Demate Device (KSC-2012-2100) | by NASA HQ PHOTO
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Discovery Ready For Mate-Demate Device (KSC-2012-2100)

Space Shuttle Discovery’s move from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the Shuttle Landing Facility, or SLF, is complete as the sun comes up over NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A tail cone has been installed over its three replica shuttle main engines to reduce aerodynamic drag and turbulence during its upcoming ferry flight. At the SLF, Discovery will be hoisted onto a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, or SCA, with the aid of a mate-demate device. The SCA, a modified Boeing 747 jet airliner, is scheduled to ferry Discovery to the Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia on April 17, after which the shuttle will be placed on permanent public display in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. For more information on shuttle transition and retirement activities, visit Photo credit: (NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

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Taken on April 14, 2012