UPDATE: Due to a mechanical problem the shuttle trainer will not be arriving until September 19th at the soonest.
AMARILLO - NASA officials have given one of its four space shuttle training aircraft piloted by Amarillo native Rick Husband to a museum in his hometown. It is scheduled to arrive shortly after 11:00 Thursday, September 8.
Because NASA has discontinued the shuttle program, the training aircraft is no longer needed. The donated craft is scheduled to be delivered to the Texas Air & Space Museum.
Museum Board President Ron Fernuik told the Amarillo Globe-News that the aircraft is a significant gift to the city because it is "bringing one of our own home (http://bit.ly/nAqL7X) ."
Husband, commander of the Columbia final mission, and six other astronauts died Feb. 1, 2003, when the shuttle broke up while re-entering Earth's atmosphere.
The training aircraft was upgraded from its original production version - a Grumman Gulfstream II - to simulate the space shuttle.