Spectacular Videos of Shuttle Piggyback Flight

by Nancy Atkinson on September 21, 2009

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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.


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Dark Gnat September 22, 2009 at 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.

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