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NASA Facts Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

NASA Facts Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

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Published by Bob Andrepont
NASA Facts booklet on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
NASA Facts booklet on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Jan 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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National Aeronautics andSpace Administration
Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273Edwards, California 93523AC 805-258-3449FAX 805-258-3566pao@dfrc.nasa.gov
NASA uses two modified Boeing 747 jet-liners, originally manufactured for commercial use,as Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA). One is a747-100 model, while the other is designated a 747-100SR (short range). The two aircraft are identicalin appearance and in their performance as ShuttleCarrier Aircraft.The 747 series of aircraft are four-engineintercontinental-range, swept-wing “jumbo jets”that entered commercial service in 1969.The SCAs are used to ferry space shuttleorbiters from landing sites back to the launch com-plex at the Kennedy Space Center and also to andfrom other locations too distant for the orbiters tobe delivered by ground transportation.The orbiters are placed atop the SCAs by Mate-Demate Devices, large gantry-like structures that hoistthe orbiters off the ground for post-flight servicing, andthen mate them with the SCAs for ferry flights.Features which distinguish the two SCAs fromstandard 747 jetliners are:• Three struts with associated interior structuralstrengthening protrude from the top of the fuselage(two aft, one forward) on which the orbiter is attached.• Two additional vertical stabilizers, one on each endof the standard horizontal stabilizer, to enhancedirectional stability.• Removal of all interior furnishings and equipment aftof the forward No. 1 doors.• Instrumentation used by SCA flight crews andengineers to monitor orbiter electrical loads duringthe ferry flights and also during pre- and post-ferryflight operations.The two SCAs are under the operationalcontrol of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston,TX.
NASA 905
NASA 905 was the first SCA. It was obtained
Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

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