Sadness. With only two missions to go after the last launch, this is the latest shuttle tank ever to be manufactured. Designated E-138, it rolled out NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to the beat of the Storyville Stompers.
As the traditional brass band played, hundreds of tearing employees – many of whom have been there for the entire 37 years of the program – said goodbye to the tank today, as it headed to its 1448km sea journey to NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre. When it arrives, it will be attached to Endeavour for mission STS-134.
Flight number 134 will be the last trip of Endeavour and the space shuttle program, marking the end of the United States’ manned space program for the foreseeable future.
Read that again and let it sink.