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Space Shuttle lands at Stansted..


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Anyone remember this, I went to the landing & the take off :-D


1983 The Space Shuttle “Enterprise” landed at Stansted on the back of a Boeing 747 during a promotional tour of Europe. Around 200,000 people flocked to see it.


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Did you know that the Shuttle also landed at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire during that same trip. I have a feeling that it was on its way to the Paris airshow when it landed at Fairford and on its way back to the US when it landed at Stanstead, although i'm not 100% definate.


Whatever, as an 8 year old boy mad-keen on anything that flew, my Dad took me out of school for the day and he had the day off work from British Leyland in Swindon and we arrived at the main gate of RAF Fairford just before 7am for the long, long wait.


It was worth it though, as the specially modified 747 arrived in clear skies and landed right in-front of us at about 1pm. Then the pilots taxied the aircraft right down the peri-track so close to the crowd that the 747's wing hung over the crowd line - you could have reached up and touched the wing as it trundled past. Blimey, how times have changed - Today with modern security measures we would probably be allowed to view it through binoculars from outside the fence of the airfield :roll:


Dad took many pictures of the days event, but all on Kodakrome slides so no good for viewing on here - But if you all want to come around for the evening, i'll happily put on a slide show :-)


The highlight of the day however was when the local BBC Points West television cameras stopped an interviewed somebody right next to us. That night watching our old ITT 3 channel wooden box wonder in the living room you could see an old man in sun glasses and a flat cap and a young boy with a squint because the sun was too bright in the bottom corner of the screen - I was a national hero at school the next day for being on the tv - all be it for at least 8 seconds :-o :-o :-o


The big highlight for me however was in December 1993 when I was sat out all night on the NASA Causeway at Cape Canaveral for a 4am shuttle launch. It was STS-61 (shuttle transportation system) which was the one that was launched to go and find the hubble space telescope and repair it.


I had a grandstand view from within The Cape as the friends I was staying with in Florida both worked for NASA at The Cape and got us a special employers pass to get closer than the average tourist. (Still severals miles away though but with a completely clear view of the launch pad.) It was one of those occasions in life that stick with you - What must it have been like to have witnessed a Saturn V launch :-o


Nice pics anyway guys of the Shuttle at Stanstead - It has brought back a lot of good memories tonight of some 23 years ago when life seemed so much simpler!





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I remember being at secondary school near Glasgow when the shuttle flew overhead.


We were in techie and the teachers kept looking at their watches (everyone know what was going to happen)


At the appointed time, we all filed out to the playgrounds and a hush settled over the crowd. Really quite eerie.


At first I couldn't hear anything and then in the distance I could hear a low roaring sound. Slowly it got louder until suddenly the 747 with Enterprise thundered overhead and vanished over the school roof.


It seemed almost close enough to touch.


I was eleven and I can still remember looking up into the grey sky and seeing that shuttle gleaming in the weak light.

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