March 9, 2011

HOW DISCOVERY WILL MEET ITS DESTINY: “After the shuttle Discovery lands, it will almost certainly go on display at the Smithsonian — but not before it goes through a months-long round of technological taxidermy. NASA has already figured out how to pull out all the stuff on Discovery that could pose a health hazard, ranging from fuel tanks and plumbing to the thermal blankets that have soaked up toxic fumes for the past 26 years. The shuttle’s main engines will be removed, and replaced with mockups built out of replicas and spare parts. The crew cabin, on the other hand, will be preserved as is and spiffed up to look as if it’s ready for flight.”

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