Technicians monitor a Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne space shuttle main engine, or SSME, as a crane lifts it off its base inside the SSME Processing Facility, the engine shop at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Operations are under way to rotate the engine into a horizontal position on a portable workstand.
The engine is one of the last SSMEs remaining at Kennedy and is being prepared for shipment to NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The first two groups of engines were shipped from Kennedy to Stennis in November 2011 and January 2012 the remaining engines are scheduled to depart on April 9. Altogether, 15 shuttle-era engines will be stored at Stennis for reuse on NASA’s Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket, under development. Photo credit: NASA/Tim Jacobs