Shuttle ready for piggy-backed plane ride

June 26, 2007

NASA scientists readied space shuttle Atlantis for a "piggy-backed" ride atop a Boeing 747 airplane this week to the Kennedy Space Center.

That journey will cap shuttle's STS-117 mission that officially ended Friday when it landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Known as a ferry-flight, the orbiter will make the cross-country trip in one or two days, depending on weather conditions. The first leg is set for Friday.

The STS-117 mission started with a June 8 launch, arriving at the International Space Station June 10. The crew conducted four spacewalks to continue the station's construction, as well as repairing part of the shuttle's thermal blanket,w which was damaged during launch.

The return to Earth ended astronaut Suni Williams' record for the longest spaceflight by a woman: 194 days, 18 hours and 58 minutes.

The next shuttle mission is slated to launch in August.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Study finds cause of visual impairment in astronauts

Related Stories

Study finds cause of visual impairment in astronauts

November 28, 2016

A visual problem affecting astronauts who serve on lengthy missions in space is related to volume changes in the clear fluid that is found around the brain and spinal cord, according to new research being presented today ...

SpaceX's fueling process makes NASA queasy

November 7, 2016

On September 1st, 2016, SpaceX experienced a rather public setback when one of their Falcon 9 rockets exploded on its launchpad at the Cape Canaveral Launch Complex in Florida. Though the accident resulted in no fatalities ...

Recommended for you

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

Cassini transmits first images from new orbit

December 7, 2016

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.