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This answer shows the following photo of two Shuttle solid rocket boosters, mounted on the mobile launch platform without the external tank or orbiter, and driven outside the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Why was this done?


In a comment below, @OrganicMarble gives a link to an article which describes the move from High Bay 1 to High Bay 3 in October 2010. The article also implies that the stack was using an external tank which had been damaged at the factory and repaired. But it does not explain why moving the SRBs was done instead of simply moving the ET; I'm still looking for an adequate answer.

look ma, no Shuttle

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    $\begingroup$ "ummm....boss....we forgot one little thing" i.imgur.com/lzKjJYh.png $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 23 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ Both pictures somewhat reminiscent of The Invisible Man TV series $\endgroup$ – Puffin Mar 23 at 18:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Puffin Stealth Shuttle! The secret is out. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 23 at 19:17
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble: Would you please post an answer? $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Mar 23 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ It would take research to write a real answer but the gist of it is that the processing flows were disrupted when sts-135 changed from a rescue only flight to a real flight. The ET that was damaged at MAF was thought to be riskier so it was assigned to the rescue flight. When it became a real flight that ET was given to the 2nd from last flight so there could be a rescue if the tank damaged the vehicle. The decision was made late in the flows and it screwed them up. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Apr 2 at 6:07

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