Space Shuttle Endeavour Takes Final Flight

Posted September 21st, 2012 at 3:10 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The U.S. space shuttle Endeavour took to the skies of California Friday for its final flight before heading to its retirement home — a Los Angeles museum.

Endeavour flew over California landmarks atop a 747 transporting jet. The shuttle's planned flight path included San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, Disneyland and the Hollywood sign.

The shuttle will spend a few weeks at the Los Angeles airport before traveling through public streets to its museum home. About 400 trees have to be removed from a 19-kilometer-long route so the five-story high, 24-meter-wide shuttle can fit through its path from the airport to the California Science Center.

Friday's flight marked the final leg of Endeavour's three-day, cross-country trek to Los Angeles. Before reaching the U.S. west coast, the shuttle flew over Tucson, Arizona, to honor the commander of its last mission, Mark Kelly, and his wife, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords is still recovering after being severely wounded in a mass shooting last year.

The U.S. space agency NASA's two other surviving shuttles are also on display across the country. The Kennedy Space Center in Florida will keep the space shuttle Atlantis, and the Discovery space shuttle is in a museum just outside Washington, D.C.

Enterprise, the shuttle prototype that never flew into space, is on display in New York.