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A sad day as Space Shuttle Endeavour continues on its final journey

Thursday, September 20th, 2012 9:20am MST
NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with space shuttle Endeavour mounted on top lands at Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso, Texas en route to California. (NASA)

NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with space shuttle Endeavour mounted on top lands at Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso, Texas en route to California. (NASA)

The retired fleet of space shuttles continues their journey to their final homes where they will be relegated to history as museum pieces.  It is sad to see these extraordinary spacecraft retired before their time and the United States’ space program a shadow of its former self.

From NASA:

NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with space shuttle Endeavour mounted on top landed at Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso, Texas, at 8:12 a.m. MDT, following its departure from Houston at 7:03 a.m. CDT.

In cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, the SCA is scheduled to conduct low-level flyovers at about 1,500 feet above locations along the planned flight path to California.

Takeoff from Biggs is planned for about 11 a.m. MDT. The SCA and Endeavour will make low-level flybys of the White Sands Missile Range and NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, as well as Tucson, Arizona en route to California. The flyover of Tucson will take place approximately an hour and 15 minutes after departure from Biggs.

Arrival at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base is scheduled for approximately noon PDT.

Following an overnight stay, the SCA and Endeavour will salute the Edwards Air Force Base area early Friday with a low flyby northbound to Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Next the duo will travel south, making a pass over NASA’s Ames Research Center, Vandenberg Air Force Base and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory before heading into the Los Angeles area.

Finally, the SCA and Endeavour will land about noon PDT at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), for an arrival ceremony before Endeavour is taken off the 747 and transported to its permanent home at the California Science Center next month.

The exact timing and path of the ferry flight will depend on weather conditions and operational constraints. Some planned flyovers or stopovers could be delayed or canceled.

NASA Television will air live coverage of today’s landing at Edwards Air Force Base and tomorrow’s sunrise departure.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Devin Boldt)

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