When it was announced that the retired Space Shuttles
would be put on display at museums across America, it was a sweet follow-up to the sad news that the whole program would be retired. But The Universe Today's set of pictures showing Space Shuttle Discovery
stripped down, looking sad and forlorn as it was towed to the Vertical Assembly Building is a painful price.
In preparation to becoming museum pieces, the Shuttles will have their engines removed -- the three main engines in the back, and the maneuvering thrusters in the nose. The shuttles will also be thoroughly cleaned to get rid of any of the toxic chemicals. The result is a rather sad looking ship, far from the powerful vehicle that flew to space and back so many times. With its windows covered up like that, I can't help but feel like Discovery has had its eyes poked out.
Hopefully the Shuttles will look a bit less pitiful when the decommissioning process is complete. Read on below for more images of Discovery, which may or may not tug at your heartstrings.