NASA — Space shuttle Endeavour, mounted atop NASA’s modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), will make the final ferry flight of the Space Shuttle Program era when it departs Monday, Sept. 17, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida headed to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
On Oct. 11, 2011, NASA transferred title and ownership of Endeavour to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Under the terms of a Space Act Agreement with the science center, NASA will safely transport Endeavour to LAX for a planned arrival on Thursday, Sept. 20.
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. 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 cancelled. If the ferry flight must be postponed for any reason, an additional advisory will be issued.
At sunrise on Sept. 17, the SCA and Endeavour will depart Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility and perform a flyover of various areas of the Space Coast, including Kennedy, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base.
The aircraft will fly west and conduct low flyovers of NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. As it arrives over the Texas Gulf Coast area, the SCA will perform low flyovers above various areas of Houston, Clear Lake and Galveston before landing at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Weather permitting, the SCA and Endeavour will stay at Ellington the remainder of Sept. 17 and all day Sept. 18.
At sunrise on Wednesday, Sept. 19, the aircraft will depart Houston, make a refueling stop at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, and conduct low-level flyovers of White Sands Test Facility near Las Cruces, N.M., and NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, before landing around mid-day at Dryden.
On the morning of Sept. 20, the SCA and Endeavour will take off from Dryden and perform a low-level flyover of northern California, passing near NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., and various landmarks in multiple cities, including San Francisco and Sacramento. The aircraft also will conduct a flyover of many Los Angeles sites before landing about 11 a.m. PDT at LAX.
NASA MEDIA ADVISORY : M12-173
Finally on the morning of Sept. 20, Endeavour, still on top of the SCA, will take off one last time, departing Dryden to fly over Northern California, passing above NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field and various landmarks in multiple cities, including San Francisco and Sacramento. The carrier aircraft will fly near one last NASA center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena before performing flyovers over many Los Angeles landmarks on its way to a landing at LAX. A ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. PDT (1800 GMT) will welcome its arrival. The Big Endeavour Endeavour’s transcontinental trip is short when compared to the 122,883,151 miles (197,761,262 kilometers) that the shuttle traveled while circling the Earth 4,671 times during its 299 days in space . But it is a big endeavor in contrast to NASA’s other space shuttle museum deliveries. Both Discovery and the prototype orbiter Enterprise were also delivered for display on top of NASA’s SCA, but their flights to northern Virginia and New York City in April were non-stop and each was completed in less than a day. Endeavour’s longer journey leaves it more susceptible to changing weather conditions and operational constraints. According to NASA, some of the flyovers or layovers that are planned could be delayed or cancelled as a result.