Discovery is puffing away on the runway out at Edwards AFB.
Here's a shot of the shuttle aproaching through an infra-red spotting scope:
From the brightness in the image, you can clearly see that the nose bears the brunt of the re-entry heating.
Good thing they didn't have to go to the White Sands landing strip - the gypsum out there really gummed up the brakes on STS-3 in 1982, the last time that site was used.
It will of course have to be flown back to Florida aboard the specially modified 747, the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, or SCA, shown here being mated with the Shuttle at White Sands after the STS-3 mission:
Columbia being mated to the SCA (NASA photo)
and yes, those are American Airlines' colors - not sure why they are still on there, but I remember hearing this from the pilot's son, Doug Trott, with whom I went to school in the late 1970's.
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