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Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-133
Payload: Leonardo
Launch: Feb. 24, 2011
Time: 4:53 p.m. EST
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: March 9 @
11:57 a.m. EST
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility

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Public can get up-close view of shuttle ferryflight takeoff
BY JUSTIN RAY
SPACEFLIGHT NOW

Posted: April 14, 2012


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Talk about access! Space shuttle fans have a unique opportunity to buy front-row seats at Kennedy Space Center's runway to watch Discovery depart the spaceport atop the 747 carrier jet Tuesday morning.


The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and orbiter rolls down the runway. Credit: NASA
 
The commercially-run Visitor Complex, which operates the bus tours around KSC, will be selling tickets to the public to witness the piggyback shuttle leave Florida for the final time en route to her new home at the Smithsonian.

The "limited availability" offer will take you to the VIP spot at the Shuttle Landing Facility's midpoint where officials and families used to watch orbiters returning from space make their tire-smoking touchdown.

For $40 per person, plus the normal admission rate, you can be bussed to the site and watch the 698,000-pound aircraft-shuttle duo take off around 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday, then come back around for a low-altitude flyby in a ceremonial goodbye to Discovery.

If you don't want to buy the extra $40 pass, you can stay at the KSC Visitor Complex and catch the ferryflight making a flyover of the Rocket Garden at a mere 300 feet.

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft pilots plan to buzz the Space Coast beaches in addition to the Visitor Complex and shuttle runway flyovers before heading northbound for the nation's capital.

The Visitor Complex advises those planning to watch from the Rocket Garden "to bring chairs and arrive by 6:00 a.m."

Also on tap Tuesday, astronauts from Discovery's maiden flight in 1984, including commander Hank Hartsfield, mission specialists Steve Hawley and Mike Mullane and payload specialist Charlie Walker, will appear at the Visitor Complex's Astronaut Encounter at 11 a.m.

This weekend, there's also a $20 special ticket to drive by the runway's apron where Discovery will be getting attached atop the 747 at the Mate-Demate Device. The bus ride includes a trip by launch pad 39A and delivery to the Apollo/Saturn 5 Center where one of the surviving moonrockets is on display.

For more information, call 877-313-2610.





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VIDEO: SPACE STATION CREW BIOGRAPHIES PLAY | HI-DEF

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VIDEO: ELECTRICAL ISSUE NO LONGER A CONCERN FOR DISCOVERY PLAY
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VIDEO: TUESDAY MORNING'S COUNTDOWN STATUS CHECK PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: COUNTDOWN PREVIEW BRIEFING AND WEATHER FORECAST PLAY
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VIDEO: LAUNCH DELAYED 24 HOURS BY LEAK REPAIRS PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW SETS LAUNCH DATE PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: THE STS-133 MISSION OVERVIEW PRESENTATIONS PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: IN-DEPTH BACKGROUND ON ROBONAUT 2 HUMANOID PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: PAYLOAD BAY DOORS CLOSED FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW LEAVES KSC FOR TRIP TO HOUSTON PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS INSPECT THE PAYLOAD BAY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: SHUTTLE EVACUATION PRACTICE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS EGRESS SHUTTLE AS SEEN LIVE PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS BOARD DISCOVERY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: SUN RISES ON LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH DAY REHEARSAL BEGINS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: COMMEMORATIVE WALL SIGNING IN VAB PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW BRIEFED ON EMERGENCY PROCEDURES PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: IN SHUTTLE TRAINING AIRCRAFT'S COCKPIT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TEST-DRIVING AN EMERGENCY ARMORED TANK PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH STEVE LINDSEY PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH ERIC BOE PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH AL DREW PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH TIM KOPRA PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH MIKE BARRATT PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH NICOLE STOTT PLAY

VIDEO: PAYLOADS INSTALLED INTO DISCOVERY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: MISSION PAYLOADS ARRIVE AT LAUNCH PAD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CANISTER HAULING PAYLOADS TURNED UPRIGHT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: MODULE HOISTED INTO SHIPPING CANISTER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: WEIGHING NEW SPACE STATION MODULE PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: GANTRY PLACED AROUND DISCOVERY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS REACHES PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CROWDS WATCH DISCOVERY'S FINAL ROLLOUT PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: SHUTTLE HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CRANE ROTATES THE ORBITER VERTICALLY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: DISCOVERY DEPARTS ITS HANGAR PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE SHOWS DISCOVERY ASCENDING IN VAB PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE SHOWS THE MOVE TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S MAIDEN FLIGHT: FIRST TRIP TO VAB PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S MAIDEN FLIGHT: ROLLOUT TO PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S MAIDEN FLIGHT: TEST-FIRING ENGINES PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S MAIDEN FLIGHT: ASSORTED VIEWS OF FRF PLAY

VIDEO: THE HISTORY OF SHUTTLE DISCOVERY PLAY
VIDEO: THE HISTORY OF SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR PLAY
VIDEO: THE HISTORY OF SHUTTLE ATLANTIS PLAY

VIDEO: INSPECTION OF THE MISSION PAYLOADS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ROBONAUT ARRIVES AT KENNEDY SPACE CENTER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: SPACE STATION'S SPARE THERMAL RADIATOR PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: BLANKETING LEONARDO WITH INSULATION PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: RACK INSERTED INTO LEONARDO FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LEONARDO RETURNS FROM ITS PREVIOUS FLIGHT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: STATION'S SPARE PARTS DEPOT ARRIVES PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: ORBITER'S PAYLOAD BAY CLOSED FOR ROLLOUT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS VISIT THEIR SPACECRAFT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW INSPECTS LEONARDO MODULE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: DISCOVERY RECEIVES ITS MAIN ENGINES PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: FUEL TANK MATED TO SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: HOISTING FUEL TANK INTO CHECKOUT BAY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: EXTERNAL FUEL TANK UNLOADED FROM BARGE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: MISSION'S FUEL TANK ARRIVES AT SPACEPORT PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: POST-FLIGHT DESERVICING: OMS POD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: POST-FLIGHT DESERVICING: OBSS BOOM PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: POST-FLIGHT DESERVICING: ENGINES PLAY | HI-DEF
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