The runway the shuttle lands on is 15000 ft. long typically. This may be to ensure that a shuttle will not be lost because of an overshoot. On a normal landing, the touchdown point is 3000 feet from the approach end, at a speed of between 210-225 mph. That probably requires a long runway. Also, the shuttle uses a special guidance system for landing, which requires special equipment. At all the alternates below, NASA would supply the equipment
About the Edwards thing-it lands on the lakebed, but not anywhere- there is a runway there made out of lake bed material It is Runway 04.
DFW wouldn't make sense because White Sands Missile Range, the second alternate site for landing, is sort of close (couple hundred miles) in New Mexico. Also the sonic booms it would cause as it would reenter would cause complaints. I know you all are going to jump at me and say "What about LA and Edwards" I think Edwards was the wrong spot to put a west coast landing facility. It makes three times more sense to have it at Vandenberg AFB in Lompoc, CA, which is the other rocket launch site. It is further away from LA, and a landing there wouldn't invlove All three main sites have runway lengths of 15,000 ft. or greater
All the alternate sites I know of are in Western Europe and North or West Africa.
I just found a list of all the approved sites and Honolulu is on them, I apologize, however, as I suspected, DFW is NOT on the list. US locations for landing are:
Westover AFB, MA
Otis ANGB, MA
Dover AFB, DE
Dyess AFB, TX
Edwards AFB, CA
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
Andersen AFB, Guam
Grissom AFB, Indiana
Mountain Home AFB, ID
Kennedy Space Center, FL
Grant Country, WA
Myrtle Beach, SC
Cherry Point MCAS, NC
White Sands Missile Range, NM
Oceana NAS, Virginia
Ellsworth AFB, SD
Numerous others scattered around the four corners of the globe. Based on the list I see, I think MCO is the best possible answer to the original question.
I will be gone this weekend with no access to a computer, so if someone could e-mail me the answer at USAFHummer@aol.com, I would appreciate it.
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