Edwards (CA) – NASA today said that Endeavour will leave California on Wednesday and will ride on the back of a modified 747. The space shuttle is expected to arrive at Kennedy Space Center as early as Thursday.
The 2500 mile trip concludes Endeavour’s STS-126 mission . The 747 and Endeavour are planned to take off at 9:29 am EST and the flight time will depend on weather conditions, which includes a slow-moving cold front that is in the path of the flight.
NASA has been preparing the shuttle for the trip since December 2 and said that it will bolt it to the 747 at its Dryden Flight Research Center tonight.
The cost of this transport is estimated at $1.7 million.
The next space shuttle flight will be STS-119, on which Discovery will carry the S6 truss segment as well as a new station crew member to the International Space Station. The targeted launch date is February 12, 2009.