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Two shuttles return to Florida
Posted: Tue, Mar 6, 2001, 10:52 AM ET (1552 GMT)
Atlantis and 747 landing at KSC For the first time in the history of the shuttle program on Monday two orbiters arrived at Cape Canaveral by plane on the same day. Two modified 747 aircraft ferried the shuttles Columbia and Atlantis to Florida from California on flights that took several days to complete. The two shuttle/plane flights left Edwards Air Force Base in California within an hour of each other Thursday, stopping overnight at Air Force bases in Oklahoma and Texas, stays that were extended by poor weather conditions along the flight path to Florida. The plane carrying Atlantis was able to fly to an Air Force base in Florida on Sunday and made the final hop to the Kennedy Space Center on Monday. The plane carrying Columbia flew to an airfield at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Monday because KSC was occupied working on Atlantis; it will make the final, short flight to KSC on Wednesday. Atlantis was returning to Florida after weather forced it to land at Edwards at the end of the STS-98 mission last month. Columbia was returning after a 17-month overhaul at a Boeing facility in Palmdale, California.
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