Weather Challenges Ferry Flight

Shuttle Discovery's ferry flight team plans to depart Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana within the hour and head to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida today. But weather is going to present challenges.

The 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with shuttle Discovery on top and NASA's C-9 "pathfinder" support aircraft will have to navigate through a line of showers across Louisiana. In addition, there are storms currently around Kennedy. The team will have to make real-time decisions and see whether those storms break up and Discovery can touch down at the Shuttle Landing Facility once the 747 and pathfinder aircraft near Florida's east coast.

If not, the ferry flight team plans to divert to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida to refuel and temporarily wait for a break in the weather. The exact timing of a possible landing at Kennedy today isn't known now because it will be based on weather conditions in flight.