Eric Schulte of Rigging International – Sarens unbolts sections of the space shuttle overland transport strongback that was used to carry the space shuttles Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery and Atlantis overland from their final assembly location in Palmdale to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in the 1970s and early 1980s.
NASA maintenance technicians Eugene Smith and Corey Saathoff of Computer Sciences Corp. remove fairings prior to removal of the pedestals from the aft mounting struts atop one of NASA's two modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The pedestals will secure the prototype space shuttle Enterprise to a barge that will transport the craft from Kennedy Airport to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. A variety of ground and airborne support equipment that supported space shuttle landing and servicing operations at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center over the past 35 years are being shipped to various museums and public venues around the country for display with the remaining space shuttles.
The overland strongback transporter that carried the Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery and Atlantis from their final assembly location in Palmdale, Calif., some 37 miles to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in the late 1970s - early 1980s was disassembled and shipped the last week of January. It will be used to transport the shuttle Endeavour from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center and will be part of Endeavour's temporary display until it's permanent exhibit is completed.
Other equipment items that were disassembled, packed up and shipped out during late January included the aerodynamic tailcone that was placed around the shuttles' rocket nozzles to reduce aerodynamic drag during ferry flights, the pedestals from the aft mounting struts atop NASA 911, one of NASA's two modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and numerous other items. Many of the items will be used to assist transport or be placed on display with the shuttles Enterprise, Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour at their final exhibit venues, including the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington, D.C., the Intrepid Sea and Aerospace Museum in New York City, the California Science Center in Los Angeles and the visitor center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.