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Two space shuttles prepare for display

Aug. 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM   |   Comments

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The last two retired space shuttles still at Florida's Kennedy Space Center swapped places as one of them was readied to go to California, officials said.

As Endeavour, destined for California, backed out of its hangar to change places with Atlantis, it sported a spinning silver hubcap with cutouts of five orbiters, the number that flew in space, Florida Today reported Friday.

"It just kind of shows we're trying to keep it light," NASA's Stephanie Stilson, who is overseeing the orbiters' preparations for public display, said of the bit of shuttle "bling."

"There's a lot of negativity in the sense that [shuttle contractors] are losing their jobs, and we're well aware of that," she said.

"We live that every day. They're not going to let the negativity of losing jobs affect them enjoying the moment, and that's what's really important."

While Endeavour heads for the California Science Center in Los Angeles, Atlantis will be making a short road trip to its display destination at the KSC Visitor Complex.

"We've finished all the work on Endeavour," Stilson said. "Atlantis is close to being complete."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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