Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, with Discovery
The shuttle does require help getting off the ground. It rides a rocket when it's heading into outer space. And when it needs to make an aerial transit here in the earthly realm, it relies on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
Actually, there are two of the shuttle-toting aircraft, both of them modified Boeing 747 jumbo jets that once served as commercial carriers. Here, in September 2009 following a mission to the International Space Station, one of the jets ferries the shuttle Discovery--which just yesterday
February 25, 2011 6:26 AM PST
Photo by: NASA/Tony Landis
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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