How a NASA Space Shuttle Hitches a Piggyback Ride on a Boeing 747

A space shuttle flying low on the back of a plane is a sight to behold. When NASA's Discovery was ferried over Washington DC this morning, Twitter was flooded with photos of the spectacle. The staff of The Atlantic had an amazing view from the roof of the Watergate (search for #spottheshuttle on Twitter for more images):

But how does it work? The documentary below reveals the decades-long history of the shuttle ferry flights and how NASA prepared the two aircraft for the journey:

From now on, Discovery will live at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center

For more videos from NASA, visit http://www.nasa.gov/.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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