Atlantis Hitches Ride to Florida

Shuttle leaves California for home, mounted on a 747
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2007 5:36 PM CDT
The Space Shuttle Atlantis takes off atop its modified Boeing 747 carrier aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base in Calif. as photographers take pictures, on the first leg of its ferry flight back to the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The space shuttle Atlantis set off to return to Florida from its emergency landing site in California today—strapped to a jumbo jet. The Boeing 747 carrying Atlantis departed from the Mojave Desert Air Base and will stop to refuel along its trip at undisclosed locations. It's expected to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday, said a NASA spokesman.

Atlantis and its seven astronauts returned to Earth on June 22 after a 14-day mission working on the International Space Station. Initially slated to land in Florida, bad weather rerouted Atlantis to an alternate landing site in California. (Read more Boeing stories.)