Edwards AFB Closed to Public for Space Shuttle Ferry Flight Departure
Space Shuttle Atlantis' ferry flight from Edwards Air Force Base to the Kennedy Space Center is currently scheduled to begin early Monday morning, June 1, shortly before sunrise.
Edwards is a restricted-access military installation and is not open to the public for viewing of the shuttle takeoff. However, It may be possible for the public to see the shuttle take off from nearby off-base locations.
The departure runway and exact flight path may not be known until shortly before the flight and will be based on local weather conditions at time of departure. Due to the heavy load, the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft has a slower rate of climb than typical commercial aircraft, thus may be visible from surrounding areas.
If Atlantis departs from Edwards' runway 22, the initial flight path is to the southwest of Edwards generally turning to the east prior to reaching Palmdale. This has been the most common take-off direction due to local prevailing winds. When the 747-shuttle combo departs along this path, it is typically visible at many locations south of Edwards AFB.
If Edwards Runway 04 is used, the climbout flight path generally travels to the northeast and passes over the towns of Boron and Desert Lake.
In each case, the closest off-base viewing locations are about 10 to 12 miles from the takeoff runway.
Updated information will be available the day of the ferry flight by calling 661-276-3520 or by following "NASADryden" on Twitter on the Internet.