September 10, 2012
Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Farewell Tour To Begin Sept. 17
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Space Shuttle Endeavour will be given one final tour across the US as it travels from Florida to the California Science Center in Los Angeles atop a modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), various media outlets reported on Sunday.
According to the Associated Press (AP), the vehicle is scheduled to depart from the Kennedy Space Center on September 17. It will then fly over Florida's Space Coast, then head to the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
After a brief landing in Houston and refueling in El Paso, Texas, Endeavour will resume its flight on September 19. It will head to the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico and Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where it will remain overnight. The following day, it will complete flyovers of San Francisco and Sacramento before finally landing at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Leigh Goessl of the Digital Journal added.
"After arrival at LAX, Endeavour will be removed from the SCA and spend a few weeks at a United Airlines hangar undergoing preparations for transport and display. Endeavour then will travel through Inglewood and Los Angeles city streets on a 12-mile journey from the airport to the science center, arriving in the evening on Oct. 13," NASA announced in a September 7 press release.
"Beginning Oct. 30, the shuttle will be on display in the science center's Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, embarking on its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and educate and inspire future generations of explorers," they added. "Endeavour completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles."
Previously, other retired space shuttles made similar journeys, as Mike Anton of the Los Angeles Times pointed out on Saturday. Enterprise flew past the Statue of Liberty, over the Hudson River, and past a handful of landmarks en route to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City last December, and Discovery toured the monuments of Washington, DC before being sent to a Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum facility.