After a two-day trip from California, the wheels of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, or SCA, with space shuttle Atlantis secured to its back, contact runway 15 at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. The SCA is a modified Boeing 747 jetliner. Visible on Atlantis is the tail cone, which protects the aft engine area and provides a more efficient aeronautical dimension during flight. Atlantis returned from California atop the SCA after its May 24 landing at Edwards Air Force Base, concluding mission STS-125. The ferry flight from Edwards Air Force Base began June 1. Touchdown at Kennedy was at 6:53 p.m. EDT.
Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller