Reminiscent of roughed up combat veterans reuniting, NASA’s retired shuttles Discovery and Endeavour had a rare nose-to-nose encounter last week, while trading places at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
According to NASA: “The space shuttle fleet began setting records with its first launch on April 12, 1981 and continued to set high marks of achievement and endurance through 30 years of missions. Starting with Columbia and continuing with Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, the spacecraft has carried people into orbit repeatedly, launched, recovered and repaired satellites, conducted cutting-edge research and built the largest structure in space, the International Space Station.”
The switch was necessary for NASA to continue preparing both spaceships for their future homes. Discovery will head next spring to a Virginia hangar belonging to the Smithsonian Institution. Endeavour will then be transported to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Atlantis, which recently completed the last shuttle flight, will remain at Kennedy for public display.