At Pad 39A

Journalists await the removal of the Rotating Service Structure at Pad 39A

These "Thomases" took us along the road that runs parallel to the crawlerway out to the space shuttle pad. There we had a 25 minute photo opportunity with the STS 131 stack only 400 metres away, looking splendid in the early morning sunshine. The shuttle is so enormous that the distance seemed more like 100 metres.

STS 131 at Pad 39A minutes before the removal of the Rotating Service Structure. At top is the top of the orange External Fuel Tank and the white conical tips of the two Solid Rocket Boosters. Below the Service Structure you can make out the bases of the booster rockets, which are sitting on the grey rectangular Mobile launch Platform.

Most of the Orbiter was hidden from view, being encased in its protective structure. Poking above was the tip of the orange external fuel tank, and just visible below were the bases of the two solid rocket boosters.

The Pad 39A superstructure

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Text, images and audio Copyright to Andrew Rennnie, 2010