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The State

A Boeing 747 with the space shuttle Atlantis on its back took off from Edwards Air Force Base on the first leg of a flight to return the spaceship to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The jumbo jet was airborne at 3:40 p.m. After an overnight stop at Ft. Bliss, Tex., the ferry flight was to continue on to Florida today. The space agency had hoped to start the ferry flight in the morning so that the trip could be made without the stopover. However, a pressure problem developed in a hydraulic system that had been sealed up on one of the shuttle’s main engines and the work had to be done again, officials said.


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