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During Dr. Barnard's visit to Cape Canaveral, all four Space Shuttles were at the facility and available for a "close-up" visit.  Each of the Shuttles were at a different stage of refurbishment and this proved to be an especially exciting opportunity.  Probably the most exciting moment for him  was when he was given the opportunity to climb into the Endeavor while it was being refurbished.  

At the launch pad, the Atlantis was being prepared for launch.  Due to a malfunction of a fitting on board the craft, the group Dr. Barnard was with  was provided an additional opportunity to go to that launch pad and get a chance to see and "touch" the Atlantis.   While Engineering was attempting to determine what corrective action to take to repair the shuttle,  a window of about 45 minutes was available to visit and ascend the "ancient" elevator alongside the Atlantis (this is the elevator used by the Astronauts to board their craft) to get a "better" look at a Space Shuttle that was just hours from launch.  It was indeed an exciting time.  

A look at the main engines - Shuttle is parked  in the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) and scaffolding has been erected around its entirety.  Partitions are in place to minimize damage from accidentally dropped tools which could require expensive tile replacements. 

Here we have service being performed on the Shuttle through a bottom hatch.  Each of the tiles are inspected and replaced when necessary.  Then the tiles are subjected to a waterproofing treatment.


Fuel Delivery lines inside the Shuttle.  Also, found out afterwards that the Shuttles are not emptied of their maneuvering fuel (hydrazine) during refurbishment.






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Last modified: January 11, 2010