Tuesday, April 03, 2012

NASA v. NASM: Different approaches to mating (and demating)

Flickr user james_gordon_los_angeles (click image to see his photo stream) recently posted the following photo of the Shuttle Mate-Demate Device (MDD) at the Shuttle Landing Facility, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. NASA has (had?) three of them, all with different designs. James has more into attached to his photo.

Shuttle Mate-Demate Device (MDD) at the Shuttle Landing Facility, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

The next photo shows the Space Shuttle Enterprise being off loaded at Dulled Airport back in 1985 (Photo credit: NASA).  United Space Alliance personnel are currently practicing lifting Shuttles using this slightly more conventional gear (they still use the custom sling).  Later this month, Shuttles will be delivered to Dulles, New York, and Los Angeles.  You can read more about the process here and more about the arrival of Discovery at Dulles/NASM here.