Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Video | Landing gear deploys from NASA's 747 carrying shuttle

shuttlelandinggear2A partial sequence of the landing gear coming down.

For some reason, I missed the part when the doors opened and the landing gear started to deploy from the 747 that carried space shuttle Atlantis home from California on Tuesday. I think I was waiting for the camera to save the images to its memory card, creating a gap between the two frames that show the smooth-bellied airplane, then the wheels dropping from it.

I have created a video from the photos that I did get. The last time the shuttle and its carrier aircraft buzzed the Space Coast, the landing gear was not down by the time it flew by me. Yesterday's event was special in that regard. That it was so darn close wasn't too bad either.

Speaking about buzzing: Everyone here in Brevard County has been doing exactly that since the low-flying 747 came roaring through. I went to a few stores and a restaurant after the event yesterday, and I heard several people talking about it. This was only the second flyover I have seen since moving to Florida, but it seems to be an especially special one. NASA's public relations ploy worked.

It's too bad that the shuttle program has to end next year.

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