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Photos: Discovery hitches a ride home

Weather prevented the space shuttle Discovery from landing in Florida so it needed a little help to finish its trip.
By Bill Detwiler, Contributor
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1 of 4 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

Platform

After landing at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California, the space shuttle Discovery receives post-flight processing inside the Mate-Demate Device. The giant platform is used to help prepare the shuttle for its flight back to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Tail cone

In preparation for its return flight to Florida, technicians attach a tail cone to Discovery, which helps reduce aerodynamic drag and turbulence.

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Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

The specially modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft drives under the shuttle and is locked in for its flight back to Kennedy Space Center.

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Happy landing

Its cargo intact, the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft landed at Kennedy Space Center at the end of its flight from California, which included a short layover at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

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