Kennedy Space Center 2002 Visit

These are photos from a visit to Kennedy Space Center.

In 2002, I was doing some work for a 3rd party contractor in a building near to the Vehicle Assembly Building. On this day, Space Shuttle Atlantis was coming home at the completion of mission STS-112. I was able to get a couple of quick photos of it as it headed to the landing strip.

At the point I took the photos, Atlantis was still pointing down and hadn’t yet deployed its landing gear, so its speed was likely just under the speed of sound (767 mph, 1,235 km/h, 667 knots). When it touches down, NASA states the speed can be as high as 226 mph (364 km/h, 196 knots). As a reference, a Boeing 747 typically lands at a speed of 184 mph (296 km/h, 160 knots).