NATION : Discovery on Piggyback Ride East


A jumbo jet carrying the space shuttle Discovery on its back took off today on a flight to deliver the winged spacecraft back to Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The Boeing 747 transport took off at 11:01 a.m., bound for Kelly Air Force Base, Tex., where it will remain overnight and continue the ferry flight to Kennedy Space Center on Friday, NASA spokeswoman Nancy Lovato said.

Discovery blasted off March 13 on a five-day mission that deployed the last of three satellites to complete the shuttle communications system. The orbiter landed at dawn Saturday in the California desert.