How do you get crews from the orbiters to the medical checkout facilities immediately after returning from launch? You take an old airport passenger transporter and put the NASA logo on the side, and call it the Crew Transport Vehicle!
This cut down the time it took to get personnel from the orbiter to their post-flight physicals, therefore preventing the body from partially re-acclimating to full gravity.
Two CTV’s were plucked from Baltimore/Washington International airport and modified to accommodate crew members and their technicians. One was sent to Kennedy Space Center, and the other to Edward’s Air Force Base, the two space shuttle landing facilities.
Edward’s CTV was first used on STS-40 in 1991, and was utilize until the landing of STS-128 in 2009, the final shuttle landing there. Kennedy’s was used far fore frequently, being last used on STS-135 in 2011. It is now on display at the Wings of Dreams aviation museum in Starke, Florida, along with other Shuttle-era hardware from the Kennedy Space Center.
In the photos above, Edward’s CTV is seen in its parking position near the facility’s hangars. The third one is the CTV docked to the second floor of the Operations and Checkout building of Kennedy Space Center, where crews were taken immediately after flight.
Read about the CTV’s move to Wings of Dreams here.