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S79-30103
58 of 71

S79-30103

May 30, 2011
A side view of the huge space shuttle orbiter 102 Columbia mated atop its 747 carrier aircraft--NASA 905—in "piggyback" mode, ready for takeoff from Kelly Air Force Base. Kelly AFB was one of the scheduled stops enroute to the Kennedy Space Center from the Dryden Flight Research Center in southern California. The ferry flight covered about 2,400 miles. Columbia reached Dryden Flight Research Center from its Palmdale manufacturing facility, some 35 miles away, via powerful transport vehicle. At DFRC, the Columbia and 747 were mated for the flight to Florida. Orbiter 102 will be the first shuttle vehicle in space when the orbital flight test (OFT) series begins next year. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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