Shuttle Endeavour travels through Oklahoma on way to Florida

Friday, June 28th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Edwards Air Force Base, California-AP) -- The space shuttle Endeavour was in southwest Oklahoma Friday.

A modified Boeing 747 has completed the first leg of a flight to return the shuttle to its home in Florida.

The jet, with Endeavour riding piggyback, left Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert at 5:35 Friday morning. It landed just after 8:30 at Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

NASA did not announce the flight in advance because of security concerns.

NASA plans to refuel the 747 at Altus before it continues eastward toward the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Bad weather across the Southeast may delay the second leg of the flight, however. Rain and hail can damage the shuttle's thermal insulating tiles.

During Friday's flight, a NASA K-C-135 led the 747 by 20 minutes to act as a weather lookout.