EDWARDS – 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).
The SCA is scheduled to conduct low-level flyovers at about 1,500 feet above various landmarks in multiple cities along the planned flight path, including Palmdale, Lancaster and Rosamond, NASA officials said.
The exact timing and path of the ferry flight will depend on weather conditions, operational and safety considerations and the discretion of the pilot-in-command. Some planned flyovers or stopovers could be delayed or cancelled.
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 low-level flyovers in the Palmdale, Lancaster, and Rosamond areas before the SCA-Endeavour combo heads to Northern California for a loop around Sacramento, San Francisco and NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field near San Jose. The flight concludes with low-level flyovers of many Los Angeles sites prior to landing at Los Angeles International Airport at about 11 a.m. on Sept. 20.
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.
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.
Endeavour completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles.
For information about NASA’s transfer of space shuttles to museums, visit http://www.nasa.gov/transition
(Information via press release from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Dryden Flight Research Center.)