Photo Gallery: Preparing Enterprise for flight|
Related article: NASA readies retired test shuttle Enterprise for one last flight
Above: Space shuttle Enterprise has been on display since 2003 at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
Above: A NASA-United Space Alliance team has been inspecting Enterprise to ensure it can be ferried safely to a new museum.
Above: The view from under Enterprise looking forward. The inspections have been performed as tourists come through the museum.
Above: A ladder leads up into Enterprise's starboard, or right, main landing gear well. A future test will ensure the gear can be retracted.
Above: Technicians gain entry into Enterprise's aft interior through an external tank umbilical door located on its belly.
Above: "Wow, that's what it really looks like behind all of that other stuff," described NASA's Martin Boyd, referring to the many systems Enterprise is missing as compared to the space-worthy orbiters.
Above: Minor corrosion was found around the arrowhead fitting, the forward attach point for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA).
Above: The arrowhead attach point hardware. "The strongest part of the vehicle are the attach points. They are much stronger than the [landing] gear or any other part of the vehicle," described Boyd.
Above, below: USA technicians work to reinstall a carrier panel bordering Enterprise's starboard, or right, wing leading edge.
Above: An open access panel along the port side of Enterprise.
Above: The technicians tested the elevon and other flight control surfaces to make sure they could still be set as needed for flight.
Above, below: A technician reinstalls panels along Enterprise's body flap after its actuators were inspected.
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