At approximately 7:20 AM, Space Shuttle Endeavour begins it's final flight. Endeavour is one of the retired orbiters of the Space Shuttle program of NASA, the space agency of the United States.
At approximately 7.20am on Wednesday 19th September Space Shuttle Endeavour began its final flight from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Endeavour's final destination will eventually be the California Science Center but along the way it will fly over Stennis Space Center, a NASA rocket testing facility in Mississippi and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, which is best known for its assembly of the shuttle’s external tank. Endeavour then makes an overnight stop near Johnson Space Center outside of Houston, home of the shuttle program’s mission control.
Endeavour, which is bolted to the top of a tricked out 747, then leaves Houston on Thursday, makes a stop for fuel in El Paso, Texas, and will then fly over White Sands Test Facility, the scenic back-up landing site for shuttle missions. Endeavour will then spend the night at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, an alternate landing site that saw 54 landings, resting up in preparation for its trek to California on Friday.
On Friday morning, it will fly over the town of Mojave, head north over Sacramento and San Francisco, and then take one final lap around the Los Angeles basin that will include low altitude flyovers of the Getty Center, Malibu, the Griffith Observatory, Universal Studios, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Disneyland before landing at LAX Airport at approximately 11 A.M. local time.
In mid-October, Endeavour will taxi from LAX to its final resting place at the California Science Center. A journey that will take two days and one that has sparked controversy as crews work to remove roughly 400 trees and hundreds of street lights and utility poles.
This will then end the journey for a remarkable space vehicle that completed 25 missions and spent 296 days in space since her first launch on 7th May 1992.