Monday, May 25, 2009

Atlantis to Depart California on Sunday for KSC

Atlantis is moved off Runway 22 at Edwards on Sunday.

The space shuttle Atlantis will spend this week in sunny California, being serviced and docked to to back of a Boeing 747 aircraft prior to her trip back to her home on Florida's Space Coast.

Rains and low clouds diverted Atlantis from a landing at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to a more weather perfect landing under blue skies and light wind at Edwards, AFB in southern California. A flight detour which will coast NASA about $1.6 million to get Atlantis back to Kennedy.

NASA believes that Atlantis could be ready as early as this Sunday morning for the 747/ Atlantis stack to depart Edwards for the two day trip to central Florida.

Today, technician and engineers, along with several more Kennedy support personnel made to flight from Orlando out to Dryden to assist with the ferry flight operations needed to mount Atlantis atop the 747 carrier aircraft. This morning,"personnel already at Dryden hoisted Atlantis in the Mate-Demate Device, placed it on jacks and carefully leveled it", according to a Dryden spokesperson.

Atlantis touched down at the adjacent Edwards, AFB run way 22 on Sunday morning after staying in space two extra days due to inclement weather at Cape Canaveral.

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