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Shuttle Ferry Should Fly By Tomorrow

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by mkm19602000, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. mkm19602000

    mkm19602000 Beach Comber

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    Just watching MSNBC, the shuttle left Edwards AFB this AM. It will fly to Altus, OK for refueling the on to Barksdale AFB in Louisana for overnight. Will be flying along the Gulf tomorrow AM. No definite time given, but will be back at Cape Canveral by 5:00PM EDT. Hope it flies low enough for Kurt or SJ to get some pictures.
     
  2. SlowMovin

    SlowMovin Beach Fanatic

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    I know absolutely nothing about procedures the shuttle ferry follows, but it seems unlikely they would be low enough when passing over. That is based on the assumption that they would be cruising at an altitude comparable to that which 747s usually fly (say, 30,000 or 40,000 feet or so). I'm also assuming they wouldn't start the descent this far out, although I could be wrong about that, too.

    Any aviation-knowledgable posters on the board?

    I saw a piece on the CNN website about it earlier, but it didn't give much information about the path or flight plan other than the stop at Barksdale.
     
  3. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Where did you receive this info? I heard otherwise, but have no clue.
     
  4. mkm19602000

    mkm19602000 Beach Comber

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    There had been an earlier discussion about it. I don't know if it will stop at Elgin again, but one of the other posters had described seeing it over the bay. BTW they said on the report I saw it would be at 15,000 ft. Just wanted to give everyone down there a heads up.
     
  5. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    From Reuters:

    Aug 19, 2005 ? EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, California (Reuters) - The space shuttle Discovery began the return journey to its Florida home port from its landing site in California on Friday, riding piggyback on top of a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
    Discovery on August 9 completed NASA's first shuttle mission since its sister ship, Columbia, blew apart over Texas in February 2003, but had to land at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert because of thunderstorms at Cape Canaveral.

    NASA prefers to use its main landing site in Florida to save time and the roughly $1 million it costs to prepare the shuttle and transport it across the country. A shuttle was last carried on top of the modified jumbo back to Kennedy Space Center in June 2002.

    The U.S. space agency said on Thursday that the next shuttle mission to the International Space Station is unlikely to occur until next March ? a six-month delay ? while engineers try to find out why insulating foam fell off Discovery's external fuel tank during its July 26 liftoff.



    Falling foam doomed Columbia when it knocked a hole in its wing at launch. During the space craft's re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, superheated atmospheric gases tore into the gap and ripped Columbia apart, killing all seven crew.

    Discovery's return to Florida was expected to take two days. At least two stops were planned during the 2,200-mile (3,540-km) cross-country trek ? one in Oklahoma and another in Louisiana.

    The 100-ton shuttle and its jet carrier fly at about 15,000 feet ? about half the altitude of commercial jet traffic.

    "That's due to the amount of fuel the 747 can take on due to the heavy orbiter on its back," said NASA spokesman Kyle Herring.
     
  6. mkm19602000

    mkm19602000 Beach Comber

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  7. BeachDreamer

    BeachDreamer Beach Fanatic

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    Neat! We're just a half hour from Shreveport/Barksdale. We'll pass right by it tonight on our way East.
     
  8. OhioBeachBum

    OhioBeachBum Beach Fanatic

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    There you go, Joe - Only 2.8 miles up! All you gotta do is rummage around kurt's place for that 5 foot telephoto lense, a steady hand and a sharp eye and you're in business! :laughing1
     
  9. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    The last time a shuttle was piggy-backed to Cape Canaveral, it was seen here (though not close-up) and it did make a spare loop or two around Tallahassee at a lower altitude just to be seen. I don't remember exactly when that was, but it was definitely pre-9/11. I had a picture of it flying over the Capitol and the stadium - both of which are no-fly zones now. I doubt they are doing a lot of showmanship this time, but it should still be visible for our guys with good cameras!
     
  10. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Maybe I will just watch. I have seen close-ups of the Shuttle before.
     
  11. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    I suspect that Eglin is the back up site when they can't land at Barksdale for some reason.
     
  12. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I bet they will not stray too far from the Interstate, just in case they need to make an emergency landing.
     

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