The crew of STS-125 are flying their T-38s to the Kennedy Space Center ahead of their launch on Monday:

Great story about Greg Johnson

At age 54, Johnson still has the boyish looks that earned him the nickname “Captain Cupcake” from the secretaries at Kenmore Air where he piloted seaplanes while attending the UW.

Just a reminder to everyone that the Shuttle launches today at 2:01 EDT/1801Z (for those not on the east coast).

Acutally, it lifts off at that time for everyone, whether or not they are on the East Coast or not…

hehehhhheheheheheheh…just joking here…

My favorite sites for satellite tracking, and predicting passes (overflights): (Remember to choose your location under “Configuration”.)
The latter seems to default readily to ISS, which I don’t want this week. YMMV – I’m having lots of trouble, but maybe it’s because there are no HST visible passes over my town this week.

The landing of Atlantis at Edwards Air force Base means that she will have to be transported back on N911NA, which you can track here:

Question about the shuttle. Why does it not have a “N” registration? I know military doesn’t have them, but if I’m not mistaken, don’t all other government entities have to have them? Surely the shuttle isn’t considered military, is it?

It is a spacecraft which does not require any registration, they are only below Mach speed and lower altitude for a short time anyhow in restricted airspace.

The Shuttle is below 35,000 feet for 3 minutes when landing and less than a minute when launching. Plus, if I remember correctly, it is considered an experimental vehicle too. And to add on, the Space Shuttle use to fly several DoD missions. And to put another stone, the FAA didn’t have a space division for spacecraft in 1981.

I expect the pathfinder and SCA to be NASA912 and NASA911, respectively, if they ferry the shuttle back to Florida (not sure if this orbiter will be reused, or if there’s another reason to ferry it back).

Atlantis will be used for STS-129 and STS-132

NASA 912 landed at Kennedy today, but it might still be slated to be the chase plane, because NASA 911 isn’t scheduled to fly until “very early Sunday morning”. Do all of these T38s swap flight numbers as needed, or are tags like NASA 912 specific to one aircraft?

From the NASA launch schedule, it looks like Atlantis will have 2 more flights before retirement. The next 16 months are pretty busy.

The pathfinder is usually a C17 using the NASA912 identification.

Last time: … /KEDW/KBIF … /KBIF/KNFW … /KNFW/KBAD (FlightAware office fly-by!) … /KBAD/KTTS

NASADrydenWeather briefing at 6:00 am today PDT to discuss route of STS-125 Atlantis from Dryden to Kennedy - latest word is takeoff around 8:20 am(PDT)

Looks like the pathfinder will be a DC9 this time - … /KEDW/KBIF

Nasa911 and Nasa932 for the DC9-30 scheduled to depart at 7:55am PDT
Sure hoping they stop over in Fort Worth again tomorrow…that was one of the aviation highlights of my life, watching that monster take off and fly right over my head… … n_top#post

This is probably a dumb question but this is the first time I’ve ever paid much attention to the shuttle having to be transported back to KSC from EDW - Is it making the stops on the way because of fuel or what?

Yes, primarily for fuel, it can only carry a relatively small quantity and has a range of approximately 1K NM when carrying the shuttle. It’s also limited to 15K feet ASL.

Why do they worry so much about any precip on the shuttle during these ferry flights when it sits sometimes 2-3 wks on the launch pad with rain all the time…I don’t get that part…I’m referring to some of the blog entries from the NASA website under shuttle ferry the last few days. It seems they worry so much about atmospheric conditions getting at the shuttle now, when it must go thru everything imaginable during a prelaunch, launch and all that entails a mission…