Southern Hospitality

[As you might have been able to guess, access to the Internet can get spotty as you’re hopping from airfield to airfield all across the country. This is the second of two posts I wrote along the way, but wasn’t able to post.]

Southerners sure know how to make a shuttle team feel appreciated.

We made our final fuel stop of the trip at Columbus Air Force Base in Columbus, Mississippi. We arrived here to a very warm reception. As we were landing I looked out the window of the C-9 and saw a long line of cars parked along the road with people waiting to see Atlantis come in. They tell me that some of the people were even tailgating! That’s the way to do it right.

Here is some video of the SCA and Atlantis landing at Columbus.

The Columbus team was ready for us with a security team…


 And of course, fuel trucks.

As soon as the SCA was stopped and secured I decided I needed to get as close up as I could. I saw reporters and news cameras standing back in the media section and I kind of laughed because I knew you guys we’re going to get a better view than they were. I gave a quick walk around the SCA and then I even got to sneak up into the cabin to have a look at the inside.

Here’s the video of the SCA walkaround.

We should be leaving Columbus at about 3:40 pm CDT and arrive at the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC at around 6:30 pm EDT. They are telling me that if weather permits, the SCA and Atlantis will do a fly-by of the beach.

On to the Sunshine State!

Atlantis Leaving Mississippi — May Visit the Beach?

The Atlantis Ferry Flight will depart Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi at approximately 3:40 pm CDT and arrive at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at approximately 6:30 pm EDT. Pilots will do a fly-by of the beach if weather permits.
Earlier this afternoon, a huge crowd of well-wishers gathered at Columbus to welcome Atlantis when it landed en route from San Antonio. The stop in Mississippi allowed refueling and a weather briefing before resuming the trip to Florida.
Stay tuned — recap photos and videos are on the way after Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center!

Atlantis Takes Off for Columbus Air Force Base

Space shuttle Atlantis is on its way to its second stop today in its cross-country ferry flight, Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.


Atlantis and its modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft departed Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas at about 12:37 p.m. EDT (11:37 a.m. CDT). The flight is expected to take about two hours.


Once Atlantis gets to Columbus Air Force Base managers will assess the weather and determine what the best route is to arrive at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida this evening.