AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsAtlantis was the last of the shuttles to be hauled by tractor through Lancaster – up 10th Street East, later renamed Challenger Way – to be loaded on a NASA 747 at Edwards Air Force Base for its first trip to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. By the time Endeavour was built in 1991, population growth had added enough light poles, traffic signals and trees to make impractical towing a 75-ton spacecraft as tall as a five-story building through the city, so it was flown straight out of Plant 42. Atlantis flew its first mission in October 1985, a secret one for the Defense Department. The orbiter has since flown 20 more missions, including launching the Magellan probe to Venus and the Galileo probe to Jupiter. “Having been born and raised in the Antelope Valley, I have seen our aerospace industry grow and flourish here over the years,” said Runner. “While it was some time ago, I can remember when Palmdale first delivered Atlantis for service to NASA back in 1985.” NASA plans to retire Atlantis after a mission tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2008. NASA plans to replace the space shuttle fleet with a new spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle. The agency plans later this year to select a contractor to develop the new spacecraft. The only space shuttle in a museum is the first one, Enterprise, which never went into space but was used for flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base in the late 1970s. Enterprise is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum annex at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Runner’s bill will first be heard by the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media. No date has been set yet for that hearing. between 1980 and 1985 [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – Space shuttle Atlantis, rolled out of Rockwell International’s Palmdale plant in 1985 as the fourth and final of the original shuttle fleet, could return to its birthplace if a local lawmaker gets her wish. Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, has authored Assembly Joint Resolution 52, asking the California Legislature to send a request to the president and congressional leaders to send Atlantis to Palmdale after NASA retires the orbiter in 2008. “It just makes sense for Atlantis to return home to Palmdale,” Runner said. “This resolution is an important step in the process. It will demonstrate that California is united behind Palmdale as the proper location.” Palmdale’s Air Force Plant 42 was the site of the construction of the entire space shuttle fleet. Atlantis was built at what was then a Rockwell facility. While seven shuttles were originally contemplated, Atlantis was the last in the budget until the 1986 destruction of Challenger led to the creation of Endeavour from spare parts.