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