Shuttle Carrier Aircraft ferry flights generally originated at Edwards Air Force Base in California or on one occasion White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico following missions which landed there, especially in the early days of the Space Shuttle program or when weather at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at Kennedy Space Center prevented ending missions there. Flights generally ended at the SLF. A number of flights began at Armstrong Flight Research Center following delivery of the orbiter from Rockwell International to NASA from the nearby facilities in Palmdale, California.
Space shuttle orbiters were constructed in Palmdale, California and transported overland to the Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC), a distance of 36 miles. The shuttle carrier aircraft was not used for this initial leg of the journey but was used to transport the orbiters to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Additionally the orbiters were routinely towed from the Shuttle Landing Facility to the Orbiter Processing Facility after landing at the Kennedy Space Center either after missions or after removal from the SCA.