RIP Giant Machine That Put Space Shuttles on Top of 747s

By Adam Clark Estes on at

In that great tradition of tearing down something old and less useful than it once was to make room for a new and more useful thing, we bring you the Mate-Demate Device (MDD) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It used to mount Space Shuttles on 474s. Now it's scrap metal.

Yep, NASA has just announced that this 35-year-old structure has already been demolished (top image). The job took nearly two months and yielded 383,150kg of recycled steel, tin and aluminium, which could ostensibly be used to build whatever NASA's planning to put in the MDD's place.

Then again, we've learned with other Space Shuttle-related gadgets that it's best to just say goodbye to some these pieces of history – and hello to the auction block for the rest.

Rest in peace, giant Space Shuttle-lifting device. We'll always remember you at your finest. [NASA]

Images via NASA