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Fraser
2009-Jun-01, 03:40 PM
Atlantis has begun her journey back home to the Kennedy Space Center, hitching a ride on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747. The flight took off at about 11:05 EDT on Monday morning from Edwards Air Force Base, and the duo will fly to Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso, Texas [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2009/06/01/spaceships-on-the-move/)

TRUTHisnotfacts
2009-Jun-01, 03:58 PM
I heard that it cost almost $2 million to fly it back

In my personal view that is not worth it ....They should build a place out west to keep shuttles so they will not need to come back to Florida ..

That could save millions

PraedSt
2009-Jun-01, 04:07 PM
They launch from Florida for a reason you know. It's much easier to reach orbital velocity if you launch to the East, and you can't do that if you launch from the West Coast as you'll be flying over populated land. (Which is frowned upon). :)

And the West Coast landings are only contingency landings; bad weather at Kennedy for example. They aren't that frequent.

Swift
2009-Jun-01, 05:06 PM
I heard that it cost almost $2 million to fly it back

In my personal view that is not worth it ....They should build a place out west to keep shuttles so they will not need to come back to Florida ..

That could save millions
There is no point to "keeping" them out there, the whole point is to relaunch them. And to relaunch them from Edwards Airforce Base, you'd need all the launch facilities they currently have at KSC. It would cost multiple billions of dollars to build that, so you would not end up saving anything.

LaurelHS
2009-Jun-02, 03:29 AM
As far the cost of contingency plans is concerned, at least they didn't have to launch STS-400. Wouldn't that have been much more expensive than landing at Edwards AFB?