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Photo Feature: Tour NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, Inside And Out

 

Part of the interior of NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

Part of the interior of NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

Earlier today journalists were invited to tour NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, or SCA.  The modified jumbo jet, designated N905NA, arrived in Florida yesterday, and will ferry space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center to her new home at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center next week.  

Discovery will be moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) this coming Saturday, where the orbiter will then be mounted atop NASA’s modified 747 for her one-way ferry flight to Chantilly, Virginia on the morning of April 17.

All Photos Credit: Julian Leek and Graham Martin

 

NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, parked at Kennedy Space Center where the aircraft waits for shuttle Discovery's arrival from the VAB on Saturday.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, parked at Kennedy Space Center where the aircraft waits for shuttle Discovery's arrival from the VAB on Saturday. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

 

Pilot Jeff Mouitrie will be at the controls to take Discovery on her final trip to Washington next week.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

Pilot Jeff Mouitrie will be at the controls to take Discovery on her final trip to Washington next week. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

 

Logos on the fuselage representing all the shuttle flights that this aircraft has flown.  Photo Credit: Graham Martin

Logos on the fuselage representing all the shuttle flights that this aircraft has flown. Photo Credit: Graham Martin

 

Parked in front of the mate / demate structure that will be used to mount Discovery atop the 747 SCA this weekend.  Photo Credit: Graham Martin

Parked in front of the mate / demate structure that will be used to mount Discovery atop the 747 SCA this weekend. Photo Credit: Graham Martin

 

View from in front of the mate / demate structure.  Photo Credit: Graham Martin

View from in front of the mate / demate structure. Photo Credit: Graham Martin

 

The cockpit of NASA's modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

The cockpit of NASA's modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

 

The rear interior of NASA's SCA, facing aft.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

The rear interior of NASA's SCA, facing aft. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

 

Beefed up stringer to support the front shuttle mounting point.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

Beefed up stringer to support the front shuttle mounting point. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

 

Forward bulkhead.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

Forward bulkhead. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

 

The tail number that will go down in history, as it is the same 747 that delivered space shuttle Columbia on her first trip to KSC.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

The tail number that will go down in history, as it is the same 747 that delivered space shuttle Columbia on her first trip to KSC. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

 

Workers install the hardware that will attach Discovery to the SCA mounting brackets.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

Workers install the hardware that will attach Discovery to the SCA mounting brackets. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth

 

Inside what used to be the main passenger compartment.  This aircraft was delivered to NASA in the early 70's and was originally part of the American Airlines fleet.  Reinforcing cross beams run across the ceiling of the interior to support the added weight of carrying a space shuttle.  Photo Credit: Graham Martin

Inside what used to be the main passenger compartment. This aircraft was delivered to NASA in the early 70's and was originally part of the American Airlines fleet. Reinforcing cross beams run across the ceiling of the interior to support the added weight of carrying a space shuttle. Photo Credit: Graham Martin

 

NASA's 747 SCA arriving at KSC yesterday afternoon.  Photo Credit: Graham Martin

NASA's 747 SCA arriving at KSC yesterday afternoon. Photo Credit: Graham Martin

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