Rolling Along

Following a landing, the orbiter was set in a safe mode and then transported from the wheels-stop point to the Mate Demate Facility to be loaded aboard the 747 for transport back to the Kennedy Space Center. This operation usually took place approximately six hours after landing and takes about one hour to complete.

A perfect spot to watch the shuttle roll by was located near the Edwards AFB fire station. Not satisfied with the same ground-level shot, arrangements were made at the completion of STS-58 to be located in a high spot on the walkway outside the upper level of the control tower. The shuttle was transported directly underneath the tower, providing for a spectacular vantage point for photographs.

Discovery being towed to the Mate/Demate Facility following landing of mission STS-29 on March 18, 1989. Snow in the bottom photo mountains behind the orbiter can be seen. An unusual sight for the Space Shuttle.