RSS Retraction

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

More

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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About rennawarren

I've won a spot for the STS-135 NASA Tweetup. I'm going to try to document the experience.
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