The United States and France have agreed that the Istres Air Force Base, near Marseille, will be a formal Transatlantic Abort Landing (TAL) site for space Shuttle launches when the fleet returns to flight later this year, Air & Cosmos recently reported.
A TAL would be required for an engine failure or any other emergency that calls for an abort to keep the vehicle flying east.
It could also be used in any other case of emergency if the Shuttle cannot execute a Return-to-Launch-Site abort procedure back to the Kennedy Space Centre.
To prepare for possible Shuttle landings, the Istres facility will be equipped with a new microwave landing system and specialized lighting.
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NASA's Discovery Rolls To Major Return To Flight Milestone
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Mar 29, 2005
NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery is now one important step closer to launch with Discovery being moved from its hangar early this morning to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).
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