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The Big Picture: NASA decommissions its shuttle mounting port

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NASA's defunct space shuttles have found homes around the US and the 747s that brought them there have also been put to pasture. With no more shuttle carrier aircraft (SCAs), the agency has no more use for the Kennedy Space Center mate-demate facility used to pull the spacecraft off them. The 150-foot long, 10-story high truss structure was used to separate the craft when the shuttle landed anywhere other than Florida. (A similar facility was demolished earlier at Edwards Air Force base in California.) The net result was 844,700 pounds of scrap metal, but you can still see the shuttles at the Smithsonian Air & Space museum, New York City's Intrepid Museum, the California Science Center and, of course, the Kennedy Space Center itself. To see the sad remains of the demount facility, check below.

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