Space Shuttle Atlantis Lands At Fort Campbell - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Space Shuttle Atlantis Lands At Fort Campbell

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky.- A crowd gathered at a Fort Campbell airfield to watch a jumbo jet carrying space shuttle Atlantis land Monday morning.

The shuttle mounted atop a modified Boeing 747 landed at the post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border for refueling.

The shuttle will sit at the post until the weather clears in Florida's Kennedy Space Center where the shuttle will ultimately go.

"The toughest challenge is staying clear of clouds," said a shuttle pilot.

"It will be hour by hour, day to day," said shuttle manager. "We'll be here as long as we need to make sure we get it back safely without flying through any weather that we don't like to fly through."

Local residents such as Liam Gervis loved seeing the space shuttle, which traveled from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska Monday morning. 

"The thing is I've never a space shuttle like that before," Liam said.

"I think it's terrific. It's awesome really terrific. It gives our children to look up to something to look forward to when they grow up," said Marjorie Boyd.

Another parent Pierre Gervis said the shuttle was "a little smaller than what you'd expect."

No matter its size or its appearance, the shuttle inspired a new generation of space enthusiasts and possibly future astronauts, gauging from the comments of observers such as young Jack Henderson.

"I'd like to go to outer space," Jack said.

When asked why, he said, "Because you can float."

NASA said this was the second orbiter to land at Fort Campbell. In 1998, Columbia was grounded at Fort Campbell for four days due to weather.

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