Kennedy News

Candrea Thomas
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington

Leslie Williams
Dryden Flight Research Center

May 29, 2009
NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Set to Return to Florida
EDWARDS, Calif. -- After landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on May 24 following the successful Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, space shuttle Atlantis is about to start its cross-country journey back to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Mounted on a modified Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, Atlantis is expected to begin its journey from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., to Kennedy as early as Sunday, May 31. The exact date and time of departure have yet to be set because of changing weather conditions and the fluid nature of preparing Atlantis for the flight. For the latest information about the ferry flight, journalists should call 321-867-2525.

For the first time ever, a ferry flight team member will blog details of Atlantis' trip at:

Live status updates will be added periodically to the NASA News Twitter feed during the flight. To access the feed, visit:

NASA Television will provide live coverage of Atlantis' departure and arrival. For NASA TV downlink, the schedule of ferry flight coverage and streaming video information, visit:

NASA will provide reporters, photographers and videographers with two opportunities to take imagery of Atlantis while it is being prepared at Dryden.

The first opportunity will be Friday, May 29, from 2 to 3 p.m. PDT, while preparations for Atlantis ferry flight are being completed. An informal briefing may be included on the work under way at the site. There will be a second opportunity when the ferry flight takes off.

Due to the short notice involved, these opportunities at Edwards are restricted to U.S. citizens representing domestic news organizations. On Friday, reporters will be transported in an escorted convoy from the Edwards Air Force Base West Gate security station on Rosamond Boulevard to NASA Dryden. The convoy will leave promptly at 1:15 p.m.

For the ferry flight departure, journalists will be escorted in a convoy to the viewing site. Space is limited to two representatives per news organization, or a total of about 30. Preference will be given to photographers and videographers, although print journalists are welcome as space allows.

Reporters who were credentialed to cover Atlantis' landing at Dryden may call Alan Brown at 661-276-2665 to confirm participation. All others should e-mail a credential request with their full name, media organization, place and date of birth, driver's license number and its issuing state, and last six digits of their social security number to no later than 9 a.m. Friday for either media opportunity. Further guidance regarding arrival times and other details for the ferry flight opportunity will be provided via e-mail as the schedule firms.

Strict flight weather restrictions may cause unexpected changes to the flight path and arrival time of Atlantis in Florida. All media should be at Kennedy's news center one hour and 15 minutes ahead of Atlantis' announced arrival time for transportation to the Shuttle Landing Facility.

STS-125 U.S. media credentials will be honored at Kennedy for the return of Atlantis. International media credentials are no longer valid.

TV stations planning on covering the arrival live from the shuttle runway must have proper credentials. Journalists must follow a dress code for the landing site: no skirts, no shorts, no sleeveless shirts, and only closed-toed, flat shoes.

During their nearly 13-day journey of approximately 5.3 million miles, the STS-125 crew conducted five successful spacewalks to enhance and extend the life of NASA's Hubble Telescope. For more information about NASA's Space Shuttle Program, visit:


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