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Riding Piggyback
Image credit: NASA/Carla Thomas

Riding Piggyback

NASA

How does a space shuttle that landed in California get back to Florida for its next launch? The answer is by ferry.

NASA operates two commercial Boeing 747 airplanes modified to carry a space shuttle on their backs. Designated officially as Shuttle Carrier Aircraft or SCA, NASA bolstered the commercial 747s with struts, stabilizers and electronic monitors. Pictured above, the space shuttle Atlantis is shown being ferried to NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida in September 1998.

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