On July 7, the day before Atlantis went up in the final launch, the Rotating Service Structure, which covers and protects the orbiter from the elements, was rolled back around 2-3 o’clock.
The RSS retracted at so slow a pace, that it was easy to miss until one noticed part of the orbiter showing, then more, and more.
Just a view of the white SRB and the orange ET.
A peek of wing
Seeing the "windshield" of the orbiter was a big moment and earned cheers from the crowd
The full orbiter revealed. But the RSS still had a long way to retract.
With the RSS fully retracted, one can see the cargo bay doors on the RSS that opened for loading the payload in a clean room environment.
And look at those angry looking clouds. It still seems amazing that they found a clear window for launching the next day.
A different angle taken really quickly as we drove past.
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