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NASA pilots Dick Clark and Ken Cockrell pose after the last flight of NASA 946 Space Shuttle trainer on delivery to Texas Air & Space Museum here in Amarillo. Wonder gift in honor of Rick Husband - our hometown astronaut who gave his life on Columbia -STS-107,
The Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) is a NASA training vehicle that duplicates the Space Shuttle's approach profile and handling qualities, allowing Space Shuttle pilots to simulate Shuttle landings under controlled conditions before attempting the task on board the orbiter.
Because NASA has discontinued the shuttle program, the training
aircraft is no longer needed.
The donated craft was delivered to the Texas Air & Space Museum shortly before noon today.
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."
The training aircraft was upgraded from its original production
version - a Grumman Gulfstream II - to simulate the space shuttle.