Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hot damn!

Space shuttle Discovery was carefully placed atop its modified Boeing 747 carrier during mating operations in preparation for its ferry flight from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA photo / Tony Landis)

Improving weather conditions over the south and southeastern portions of the United States have led NASA managers to approve beginning space shuttle Discovery’s ferry flight from Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday morning.

Discovery, mounted atop its modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, is slated to lift off Edwards’ main runway 04R at about 6:20 a.m. Sunday, or about 20 minutes before sunrise, on the first leg of the ferry flight. The 747-shuttle combo is scheduled to make a refueling stop at Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo, Texas, and one other intermediate stop before reaching Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, La., Sunday evening, and then continue on from Barksdale to Kennedy Monday morning.

United Space Alliance technicians and NASA personnel at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards finished preparations for the 2,500 mile ferry flight overnight Friday.

Although Edwards Air Force Base will not be open to the public for viewing of the shuttle /747 combo’s departure, good viewing is possible from a position along 20 Mule Team Road a few miles west of the town of Boron immediately north of the base’s northern boundary.

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