Space Shuttle Discovery Gets Ready for Retirement

Discovery Dissassembled

Now that Discovery has finished its final journey into orbit, crews are getting the Space Shuttle ready for its retirement – which isn’t to say that it’s headed off to a dusty trail somewhere: Discovery has a lot of work yet ahead of it, including heading up here to Washington DC to go on display at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum.

But for now, this slide show over at DVice will walk you through Discovery’s last trip to the Orbiter Processing Facility at Kennedy, as she gets all cleaned up and partially disassembled for the road show she’s about to embark on. Eventually she’ll probably come to rest at the Smithsonian, but for now, hopefully she’ll get a few more paltry miles on her traveling the country and being gazed at adoringly by fans everywhere.

The photos themselves are both stunning and saddening, signaling the end of an era, but also giving us a look at Space Shuttles that we’d never had before. Click through to see all of the photos.

[ Gallery: Discovery Gets Disassembled, Prepped for Retirement ]

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