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NASA has released the first-ever up close video available for the public, taken from inside a space shuttle after landing, showing the checkout procedures and the “towback” to the Orbiter Processing Facility. It was taken on May 26, 2010 following shuttle Atlantis’ landing following the STS-132 mission.
Following every shuttle landing, about 150 trained workers assist the crew out and prepare the shuttle for towing atop a large diesel-driven tractor to the OPF.
The video, which includes views of Atlantis’ hatch opening and closing from the inside, shows United Space Alliance employees inside Atlantis’ crew compartment working through an extensive checklist to
“safe” the spacecraft for towback from Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility runway to Orbiter Processing Facility-1. Inside the facility, Atlantis will be prepared for the Launch On Need mission, in the unlikely event it is needed as a rescue spacecraft for the final planned shuttle flight, Endeavour’s STS-134 mission.
Or, who knows, Atlantis might fly one more mission. We’ll see.