Space Shuttle in Extreme Detail: Exclusive New Pictures
Explore Discovery's flight deck with a new 360 panorama.
But once the spaceship is settled into the museum, visitors won't be able to hop into the commander's seat and fiddle with switches—the institution intends to seal up Discovery indefinitely. (See "Space Shuttle Discovery: Final Flight in Pictures.")
To provide an unprecedented look at Discovery and the other retired space shuttles, both inside and out, photographers with National Geographic recently captured more than two dozen ultrahigh-resolution, 360-degree pictures of each orbiter. (The Society owns National Geographic News.)
NASA and United Space Alliance, the agency's prime contractor for servicing the shuttles, made the interactive panoramas possible by granting news organizations unprecedented access to the hundred-ton spaceships after each final shuttle flight.
(Video: Replay the very last space shuttle launch.)
"When the shuttles