Here at DVICE, we're gluttons for high resolution photography of big machines, though this gallery strikes something of a melancholy note. On October 8th, NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis will embark on a mission to restore the Hubble Space Telescope to its full operational capacity. It's the last planned mission to service the orbiting telescope, which for 18 years has delivered unimaginably beautiful views of distant galaxies.
It's also somewhat of a sad liftoff for the Atlantis, which will be completing its 30th mission as well as one of the 10 last launches scheduled for NASA's space shuttles before the fleet is retired in 2010.
For months now, the crew and the shuttle's technicians alike have been working hard to make this upcoming launch a reality, and luckily there are some amazing pictures to document it. Check out our favorites from the rescue preparations in the gallery below. Via The Big Picture
Via The Big Picture