Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NASA Space Shuttle Trainer Retires In Amarillo

Click to enlarge:

Last few seconds of flight - NASA 946 on final for runway 4 at Rick Husband/Amarillo International Airport.

NASA pilots Dick Clark and Ken Cockrell pose after the last flight of NASA 946 Space Shuttle trainer on delivery to Texas Air & Space Museum here in Amarillo. Wonderful gift in honor of Rick Husband - our hometown astronaut who gave his life on Columbia -STS-107.

The Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) is a NASA training vehicle that duplicates the Space Shuttle's approach profile and handling qualities, allowing Space Shuttle pilots to simulate Shuttle landings under controlled conditions before attempting the task on board the orbiter.

Because NASA has discontinued the shuttle program, the training aircraft is no longer needed.

The donated craft was delivered to the Texas Air & Space Museum shortly before noon today.

Museum Board President Ron Fernuik told the Amarillo Globe-News that the aircraft is a significant gift to the city because it is "bringing one of our own home."

The training aircraft was upgraded from its original production
version - a Grumman Gulfstream II - to simulate the space shuttle.

To keep the aircraft in good shape and provide a permanent viewing site the Texas Air & Space Museum needs to raise $35,000. They extend an invitation to all who feel they can give to assist them in their efforts to keep NASA 946 here at the airport that bears its' fallen astronaut's name.

You can contact the museum at 806-662-5823 or just give them a visit from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday - just NE of the Bell Helicopter-Textron V-22 Osprey plant.

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