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June 24, 2005

Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273
Edwards, California 93523
Phone 661/276-3449
FAX 661/276-3566

Leslie Williams
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Phone: 661/276-3893

Dryden to Host Media Briefing, Tour on Shuttle Preparations July 6.

NASA's Return-to-Flight Space Shuttle mission, designated STS-114, is tentatively set for mid-July. The shuttle orbiter Discovery will be launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is scheduled to land there about 12 days later.

However, if weather conditions in Florida are unacceptable for a landing there, Discovery could be directed to land at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, the backup landing site.

On July 6, news media representatives are invited to Dryden to tour new upgrades of the Shuttle area and view new equipment to service the Shuttle after landing. If Discovery lands at Dryden, Shuttle personnel would remove hazardous fuels and secure the orbiter before it is mated to one of NASA's modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft for a ferry flight back to Kennedy.

For more than a year, Dryden's Space Shuttle operations have been gearing up to prepare for a potential Shuttle landing. Dryden has acquired new equipment and vehicles and has coordinated with the Air Force and local emergency agencies to train personnel for any possible contingency. The Mate-Demate Device, used to mount the Space Shuttle on top of the 747, was upgraded and painted with a more environmentally friendly coating. Some of Dryden's new Shuttle servicing equipment includes the Flight Crew Access Vehicle, a Universal Coolant Trailer and equipment that purges fuels from the shuttle.

Joseph D'Agostino, manager of Space Shuttle Operations at Dryden, will brief media representatives on the physical upgrades to Shuttle recovery and servicing equipment and outline the various procedures required to prepare a Shuttle for its ferry flight.

News media representatives interested in attending the tour and briefing should contact the Dryden public affairs office at (661) 276-3449 no later than noon on June 29. Media representatives must be U.S. citizens and furnish their full name, date of birth, place of birth, driver's license number and state of issue, and the last six digits of their social security number for the required security check by that date.


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