Local residents will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Friday as the space shuttle Endeavour will make a low-level flyover of Northern California en route to Los Angeles International Airport. This is the shuttle’s last flight; it will ride atop a 747 carrier aircraft.
The Endeavour and its carrier will take off at sunrise from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California and perform a low-level flyover of Northern California, passing near NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field and various landmarks in multiple cities, including the state Capitol in Sacramento and sights in San Francisco.
The aircraft also will conduct a flyover of many Los Angeles sites before landing at about 11 a.m. at LAX.
In cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, the flyovers will be 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, NASA said.
Social media users can share their Endeavour sightings using the hashtags #spottheshuttle and #OV105, Endeavour’s orbiter vehicle designation.
Last October, NASA transferred title and ownership of Endeavour to the California Science Center in Exposition Park near downtown Los Angeles. The shuttle’s Friday flyovers are the tail end of its journey from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Houston, home of the Johnson Space Center, and then to Edwards Air Force Base.
After arrival at LAX, Endeavour will 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 on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 13.
Beginning Oct. 30, the shuttle will be on display at the science center, embarking on its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and educate and inspire future generations of explorers.
Endeavour completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles.
— On the Net: For information about NASA’s transfer of space shuttles to museums, visit http://www.nasa.gov/transition