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: NASA astronaut, first to fly untethered in space, dies at 80

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New research challenges existing models of black holes

January 19, 2018

Chris Packham, associate professor of physics and astronomy at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has collaborated on a new study that expands the scientific community's understanding of black holes in our galaxy ...

Neutron-star merger yields new puzzle for astrophysicists

January 18, 2018

The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten - much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million ...

New technique for finding life on Mars

January 18, 2018

Researchers demonstrate for the first time the potential of existing technology to directly detect and characterize life on Mars and other planets. The study, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, used miniaturized scientific ...

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.