Space Shuttle

Spectacular Videos of Shuttle Piggyback Flight

21 Sep , 2009 by

With the shuttle retirement looming, you never know if or how often you’re going to see this sight again. So enjoy these two videos of the shuttle hitching a piggyback ride back to Kennedy Space Center atop a modified 747. Space shuttle Discovery left Edwards Air Force Base in California on Sunday, Sept. 20 and arrived at KSC today, the 21st. Top, is the 747/shuttle landing at KSC (it gets good about 1:20 in) and below is really pretty footage of the duo getting ready to leave Edwards just at dawn, and the lighting is just plain gorgeous.

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Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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Dark Gnat
Dark Gnat
September 22, 2009 7:02 AM

I wonder if a system like this could be used to launch a shuttle-type craft. The craft would ride piggy-back up to a certain altitude, then fire it’s rockets after being released. It may not be as effective as a booster stack, but it might be cheaper for a corporation, as less rocket fuel would be needed, and there wouldn be a need for a launch platform.