Adios, Space Shuttle!

Sadly, the Space Shuttle program has come to an end.

The space nerd in me hopes it will be replaced by something grander and more ambitious, but in this world increasingly run by beancounters I am not so sure.

Today, the Enterprise moved from its berth at the Kennedy Space Center to its final landing in New York, where it will be on display at the Smithsonian Institute. The final flight of the final Space Shuttle was the subject of the “spot the shuttle” event over the skies of Manhattan, where people could catch a sight of the ship as it approached the airport.

However please have a look at the two pictures below: the one on the left was taken as the Enterprise, mated to its 747 carrier aircraft, was departing Florida while the second is taken upon landing in NY.

Spot the differences? The worn out hull and the battered heat shield have magically became pristine again upon landing. On-flight paint job? Photoshop? Or maybe the conspiration theorists who always claimed we never went to the Moon were right all along and we never flew in space at all.

Go figure.

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