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July 18, 2012
A shuttle training aircraft takes off from the Johnson Space Center's El Paso Forward Operating Location on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, in El Paso. The Shuttle Training Aircraft or STA, is a modified Grumman Gulfstream 2 aircraft that duplicates the space shuttle's handling qualities to allow astronauts to simulate shuttle landings. Since the beginning of the shuttle program over 100,000 landing simulations have been performed from the El Paso location at the nearby White Sands Space Harbor. ( NASA Photo / Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool ).

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