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J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-5241

Bruce Buckingham
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(321) 861-7642

Feb. 8, 2006
RELEASE : 06-059
GlobalFlyer Departs From NASA's Kennedy Shuttle Runway
The Virgin Atlantic Airways GlobalFlyer aircraft took off today from NASA's Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility, Fla., at 7:22 a.m. EST. The effort is an attempt to set a new world record for the longest flight made by any aircraft.

NASA agreed to let Virgin use the shuttle facility as part of a pilot program to expand access to the runway for non-agency activities. The use of the runway is part of NASA's efforts to support the President's Management Agenda and the U.S. Space Transportation Policy.

Piloted by Steve Fossett, the aircraft used more than 13,000 of the 15,000 foot runway before taking to the sky. Fossett will attempt to fly 26,084 miles in approximately 80 hours. He will attempt to land at Kent International Airport, near London.

For photos of GlobalFlyer's takeoff on the Web, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:


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