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  STS-128: Ferrying Discovery back to Florida

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Author Topic:   STS-128: Ferrying Discovery back to Florida
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-16-2009 03:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery Set To Return To Florida

After landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California on September 11, shuttle Discovery is about to start its cross-country journey back to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Following the successful STS-128 mission to the International Space Station, Discovery was mounted on a modified Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft. Discovery is expected to begin its journey from Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., to Kennedy as early as Friday, September 18. The exact date and time of departure have yet to be set because of changing weather conditions and the fluid nature of preparing Discovery for the flight.

Status updates will be added to NASA's Twitter feed during the flight. NASA TV will provide coverage of Discovery's departure and arrival.


Credit: NASA/Tony Landis

MrSpace86
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From: Gardner, KS, USA
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posted 09-17-2009 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Besides Twitter, will there be another tracker? I remember during the last ferry flight, there was an online map/tracker that told you where the it was. I am interested in knowing to see if it flies close to Kansas.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-17-2009 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As the flight path is filed, we will certainly make note of it as part of this thread.

Per reports, NASA 905 will be the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) used for the ferry flight, so once it departs, you will be able to track its journey on FlightAware.

(NASA's second modified 747, 911 is also presently at Edwards Air Force Base.)

ejectr
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posted 09-17-2009 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think they should divert north through Massachusetts if there is any bad weather along the way.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-17-2009 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Dryden Flight Research Center's Twitter feed:
STS-128 ferry flight from Dryden to Kennedy has been updated to no sooner than Saturday morning just after first light.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-18-2009 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update:
Shuttle Team Looks to Sunday to Start Ferry Flight

Dynamic weather will keep shuttle Discovery’s ferry flight at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., at least through Saturday. Teams now are looking at Sunday to begin the 2,500 mile cross-country trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Shuttle managers met at NASA’s Dryden Research Center this afternoon to assess ferry flight preparations and weather conditions across the southeastern United States. Forecasters still are tracking a low pressure system over Texas that has been influencing weather across the southeast.‪ Managers decided the forecast was too dynamic and unstable to try to begin the flight Saturday.

Discovery is expected to be attached to the top of a modified 747 jet, called a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and be ready for its piggyback ride to Florida by Friday evening.

Managers will meet again with air crews and the weather team at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday to discuss how possible a Sunday morning departure would be and decide the best route to get Discovery back to Kennedy within two days, weather permitting.

X-Plane Fan
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posted 09-18-2009 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It will be SCA #911 making the ferry flight back to Florida. 905 is still finishing up some maintenance work and should be flying again soon. Both SCA's have been stationed permanently at Dryden for some time now.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-19-2009 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Discovery Ferry Flight Preps Complete, Managers Optimistic About a Sunday Departure

Shuttle Discovery and its modified 747, known as a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, are ready to begin the cross-country trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida as soon as weather across the southeastern United States permits it. Managers are optimistic they'll be able to begin the ferry flight Sunday morning.‬‪

Teams at Edwards Air Force Base in California finished preparations for the 2,500 mile flight overnight, including fully attaching Discovery to the top of the 747 and moving the piggybacked pair into position to be ready for departure.‬‪

Weather permitting, the plan is to have Discovery back at Kennedy by Monday.‬‪


Credit: NASA/Tony Landis

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-19-2009 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA Update
Managers Plan to Begin Discovery's Ferry Flight Sunday

Shuttle managers plan to begin the cross-country ferry flight trip for Discovery on its modified 747 aircraft Sunday morning, shortly before sunrise at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Managers met with the air crew and weather team at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center this afternoon. They discussed the weather forecast for the next several days and formulated a tentative plan for the route and refueling stops along the way back to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Weather permitting, the plan is to have Discovery leave Edwards at about 6:20 a.m. PDT Sunday. The flight's "pathfinder" support aircraft will depart about 20 minutes earlier. The 747 and pathfinder then will head to the first refueling stop at Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo, Texas.

Depending on the weather, the teams plan one additional stop before ending their travel day at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana tomorrow afternoon.

Managers expect to be able to reach Kennedy from Barksdale on Monday without any additional stops.‬‪‪

The low pressure weather system that forecasters have been monitoring for the last several days is expected to begin moving to the northeast and that would allow the ferry flight to reach Barksdale tomorrow.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-20-2009 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space shuttle Discovery, atop NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California at 6:20 a.m. PDT (8:20 a.m. CDT) for the first leg of its ferry flight back to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The first refueling stop on its 2500 mile journey will be Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo, Texas.

You can follow Discovery (and its pathfinder aircraft) via FlightAware.


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-20-2009 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Discovery's Ferry Flight Arrives in Amarillo, Texas

Discovery's ferry flight is now at Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo, Texas for refueling. The modified 747, known as the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, carrying Discovery arrived at 11:08 a.m. CDT.

Teams will evaluate the weather again while the aircraft is refueling to determine the next stop in the 2,500 mile trek. Their objective is to get to Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana, this afternoon where they will stay overnight.

According to FlightAware, Discovery will next fly to Carswell Field, Fort Worth, TX.


Credit: NASA/Charlie Justiz

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-20-2009 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Discovery's Ferry Flight Departs Amarillo, Texas for Ft. Worth

Shuttle Discovery, atop its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), is again in the air on its way to its next refueling stop, the Fort Worth Naval Air Station (Carswell Field) in Texas.

The SCA took off from Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo, Texas at about 1:20 p.m. CDT to begin the second leg of its cross-country trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After landing in Fort Worth in about an hour, the teams will assess the weather and determine whether they can still get to Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana this afternoon, where they plan to stay overnight.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-20-2009 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Discovery's Ferry Flight Arrives in Ft. Worth, Texas

Shuttle Discovery atop its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft are at the next refueling stop in their ferry flight, Fort Worth Naval Air Station, Texas.

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft landed at 2:16 p.m. CDT, completing the second leg of its cross-country trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The teams are now assessing the weather conditions to determine whether they can still fly this afternoon to Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana, where they plan to stay overnight.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-20-2009 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Discovery's Ferry Flight Heads to Barksdale AFB

Shuttle Discovery, atop its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, are back in the air for today's third and final ferry flight leg.

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft departed Fort Worth Naval Air Station, Texas at about 4:50 p.m. CDT headed for Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The team plans to stay at Barksdale overnight and then finish the cross-country ferry flight Monday morning by returning to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Robert Pearlman
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Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-20-2009 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Discovery Ends Its Ferry Flight Day at Barksdale AFB

Discovery, carried atop NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft are at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, where the ferry flight team will stay overnight.

The spacecraft-aircraft mated pair arrived at 5:39 p.m. CDT, about 20 minutes behind the ferry flight's "pathfinder" support aircraft, a NASA C-9 plane.

Barksdale is today's third stop for the shuttle. The cross-country ferry flight to Kennedy Space Center began with an 8:20 a.m. departure from Edwards Air Force Base, California, followed by refueling stops at Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo and Forth Worth Naval Air Station in Texas.

The team plans to finish their 2,500 trip by returning to Florida on Monday. They'll meet tomorrow morning to evaluate the weather and determine when to take off. The plan is to leave Barksdale and arrive at Kennedy without any additional stops.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-21-2009 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Ferry Flight Begins from Barksdale, La.

Discovery, atop its modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, has left Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and is now heading toward Kennedy Space Center. The pair took off from Shreveport at about 8:40 a.m. CDT.

Without any weather delays, it is about a two hour and 45 minute flight to Kennedy. The earliest Discovery would arrive is about 11:30 a.m., however they are going to have to fly around a line of showers over central Louisiana first and then see whether storms currently in the vicinity of the Shuttle Landing Facility will permit their approach.

If the weather is not cooperative at Kennedy, Discovery could divert to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa to wait for better conditions.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-21-2009 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
747 Carrying Discovery Lands at Kennedy

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carrying Discovery landed at the Kennedy Space Center at 11:05 a.m. CDT, ending the two-day, 2,500-mile ferry flight from Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Credit NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-24-2009 10:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what apparently was the first time, NASA allowed a news crew to accompany the ferry flight on its cross-country trip, riding along with the C-9 pathfinder aircraft.

The first part of reporter Tom Abrahams' and cameraman Jesus Amaya's journey aired tonight on KTRK Channel 13 (Houston).

The conclusion airs Friday night at 6:00 p.m.

Here is the report that aired Thursday, September 24, 2009 on KTRK-TV in Houston.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-25-2009 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Part two of Abrahams' ferry flight report:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-26-2009 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This time lapse video shows Discovery being detached from the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft using the mate/demate device at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, September 21-22.

space4u
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From: Cleveland, OH USA
Registered: Aug 2006

posted 09-27-2009 08:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space4u   Click Here to Email space4u     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for posting the Houston TV videos on the shuttle ferrying flights Robert. THIS is the kind of report that needs to be on NASA's website for the general public to see.

--Marcy

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