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.

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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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