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Endeavour Exposed

Being cautiously optimistic paid off last night—around 10:45 p.m. local time we got word that we were “go” for RSS rollback.

Doused in bug spray, we piled off the bus to stand as close to Endeavour as possible while the servicing structure unfolded.

The process itself seems to start in slow motion, with barely perceptible shifts in the gantry as the RSS unfolds like a clamshell.

But when at last the nose of the shuttle peeks out from behind the rigging, time suddenly jump-starts, and before you know it, there stands the orbiter. This is the moment to snap closeups of the craft.

Minutes before we had to head back to the buses, the ground crew turned on massive xenon lights, bathing the shuttle in a soft crisscrossing glow that shows up blue in photographs.

As I type this, the shuttle is being fueled and prepped, and soon the crew will emerge from quarantine to head to the pad for launch.

Godspeed, Endeavour.


  1. steven harn
    Oahu HI.
    October 18, 2011, 4:59 pm

    In 1980 I was one of the first new hirers at Rockwell Int. in Downey CA. this was the location in which most of the shuttle parts were machined and sub structers were built. I am sorry to see the fleet retired but they were only desined to fly 20 times. i watched along with others in Downey as the challenger launch turned to disaster I have a lot of items only given to those who built the shuttles first launch posters,prints,pilot pics(singed),flags taken abord the mission ect. some are probley one of a kind by now please contact me if interested at stevenharn1956@yahoo.com i close by saying to frends and coworkers good job the shuttles are the best space transportation to date Steve Harn Dep. 064 machine shop Dwoney CA. 1980-1991

  2. […] Weather that time was slated at a promising 80 percent “go” for launch. I made it to RSS rollback and crew walkout, and things seemed […]