Discovery leaves Kennedy for Last Time
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft transporting space shuttle Discovery to its new home takes off from the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7 a.m. EDT. In the background is the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building and NASA’s new mobile launcher. The aircraft, known as an SCA, is a Boeing 747 jet, originally manufactured for commercial use, which was modified by NASA to transport the shuttles between destinations on Earth. This SCA, designated NASA 905, is assigned to the remaining ferry missions, delivering the shuttles to their permanent public display sites. NASA 905 is scheduled to ferry Discovery to the Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia on April 17, after which the shuttle will be placed on display in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
April 17, 2012
Photo credit: NASA/Glenn Benson