Retro Space Pictures: Building Shuttle Atlantis

Atlantis' Crew Module Prepped for a Vacuum Test

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Atlantis' crew module is moved to the vacuum chamber test cell at Rockwell's Downey facility on March 30, 1983.

Atlantis Gets Thermal Tiles

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Thermal tiles are installed on Atlantis' right-hand wing glove at Rockwell's Palmdale facility on Jan. 18, 1983.

Installation Continues on Atlatnis' Thermal Protection System

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Work continues on installing part of Atlantis' thermal protection system on the left-hand mid fuselage. This image was taken on Jan. 6, 1983 at Rockwell's Palmdale plant.

Fuselages Unite

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Atlantis' lower forward fuselage and mid fuselage are seen attached to one another at Rockwell's Palmdale facility on Nov. 9, 1983.

Atlantis' Crew Module Connected to Fuselage

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Atlantis' crew module is installed and attached to the shuttle's lower forward fuselage at Rockwell's Palmdale plant on April 12, 1984.

Atlantis Starts Taking Shape

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Atlantis starts to take shape, as engineers continue work to install the shuttle's crew module, lower forward fuselage and mid fuselage at the Palmdale plant on April 12, 1984.

Atlantis' Upper Fuselage Installed

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The upper fuselage is being installed onto Atlantis' lower fuselage, with the crew module already secured. This photo was taken at Rockwell's Palmdale facility on April 25, 1984.

Construction of Atlantis' Nose Cap

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Construction of Atlantis' nose cap continues at Rockwell's Palmdale facility on July 11, 1984.

Atlantis' Assembly Complete

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With Atlantis' assembly complete, the shuttle is rolled out from Rockwell's Palmdale plant on April 9, 1985.

First Peak

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Spectators look on as Atlantis rolls out from the Rockwell's Palmdale facility to NASA's Dryden Flight and Research Facility on April 9, 1985.

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