Teams Given "Go" For Ferry Flight, But No Friday Departure

Space shuttle Discovery
Following this afternoon’s Ferry Flight Readiness Review meeting at NASA’s Dryden Research Center, shuttle managers are giving a “go” for space shuttle Discovery’s ferry flight from Edwards Air Force Base in California to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But because of a complex weather pattern across the southeastern United States, managers decided not to begin the cross-country trek Friday.

Forecasters are tracking a slow moving low pressure system over northeast Texas that has been influencing weather across the southeast.

Shuttle teams expect to have Discovery and its modified 747 aircraft ready for the piggyback flight by mid-to-late Friday morning. Then they plan to meet at 2 p.m. EDT to review departure preparations, the latest weather forecasts and determine the best route and timing to get Discovery back to Kennedy.

A major milestone of attaching the tail cone over Discovery's engines was completed Thursday. Overnight, teams plan to lift Discovery and attach it to the top of the 747.

Discovery landed at Edwards Sept. 11, ending its STS-128 mission to the International Space Station.