Atlantis-747 Combo Arrives in Florida After Cross-Country Ferry Flight

NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carrying the Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida Tuesday evening, concluding a more than 2,500-mile cross-country ferry flight from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California.

The piggyback pair left Edwards Monday morning and flew to Biggs Army Air Field adjacent to El Paso, Texas, where it remained overnight.

The 747-shuttle combo then flew to Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas, Tuesday morning for refueling, and then continued on to Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi on the third leg of the cross-country journey. After refueling again at Columbus Tuesday afternoon, the modified Boeing 747 with Atlantis atop flew on to Kennedy, performing a low-level flyby of Florida's space coast beaches and the space center before touching down at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility runway at 6:53 p.m. EDT.

Atlantis landed at Edwards May 24 at the conclusion of the STS-125 mission to service and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope, after poor weather in Florida prevented landing there.

Space Shuttle Missions: STS-125 and STS-127

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with space shuttle Atlantis secured to its back land in Florida.
Atlantis is Home; Endeavour Crew Arrives for Rehearsal
Space shuttle Atlantis landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a modified 747 jet known as the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. On May 24, Atlantis landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California completing mission STS-125, a 13-day journey of approximately 5.3 million miles in space.

With the STS-125 mission completed, the shuttle team is shifting its attention to the next flight, space shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission to the International Space Station.

Endeavour is in place at Launch Pad 39A, setting the stage for this week's terminal countdown demonstration test. The STS-127 payload, the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility and Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section, was installed in Endeavour's payload bay June 1.

The STS-127 crew members arrived at Kennedy on Tuesday for the terminal countdown demonstration test, which concludes Thursday with a dress rehearsal for their upcoming launch. Liftoff is targeted for June 13.

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