VIDEO: Thousands welcome back the space shuttle Endeavour

NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, with the space shuttle Endeavour securely mounted on top, touches down at Edwards Air Force Base Thursday (Sept. 20).

Thousands came out to the historic event.

EDWARDS AFB – With over 100 members of the national media and thousands of employees, Edwards Air Force Base welcomed back the space Shuttle Endeavour for the last time today (Sept. 20).

Many said the overall feeling was both that of excitement and sadness.

“It’s awesome, a once in a lifetime experience,” said Palmdale resident Sheila Ware, whose husband works at Edwards AFB.

“This is kind of an end of an era with the space shuttle,” said Assemblyman Steve Knight.  “I wish it could keep going, but there’s an end to everything, so we’re coming out to say we thank you for what you did for America and for mankind.”

While watching the SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft) transport the shuttle over the Edwards flight line for the last time in history, there was little that could be said.

After performing a tower flyby, the SCA turned toward the runway for the final approach and brought Endeavour in for the last time.

Endeavour completed a total of 25 missions between May 1992 and May 2012, with seven of those missions ending with wheels down at Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base.

A total of 299 days were spent in orbit by Endeavour, and over the course of those missions, it deployed three satellites and docked once with Mir Space Station and 12 times with the International Space Station (ISS).

One very notable mission for the Endeavour was the first Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission (STS-61) that lasted 11 days and involved five spacewalks by crew members.

As shuttles go, the Endeavour was a real workhorse and provided NASA with some of the most important missions in space history.

First thing Friday morning, at 8:15, SCA will carry Endeavour into the sky for the final leg of its trip and eventual resting spot at the California Science Center.

As the schedule permits the shuttle will be flown over a number of California facilities, including Palmdale Plant 42, on its trip the LAX.

Opportunities for the public to see the final flyover will be available at the corner of Avenue N and Sierra Highway.

The area is known as BJ’s Corner, named after B.J. MacWhirter, who frequented it most days of the week until his passing in 1997. This corner is both a memorial and the ideal spot for viewing aircraft departing Plant 42.

For many more pictures from this event, visit our facebook page.

View video of the landing below:

  16 comments for “VIDEO: Thousands welcome back the space shuttle Endeavour

  1. Alrighty then
    September 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

    So the AV Times gets Adam Chant to cover the story because they are unable to gain access to Edwards AFB like the rest of the legitimate local media outlets? Alrighty then! BTW Adam, don’t quit your day job…

    • Adam Chant
      September 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      No, read my previous comments below. AV Times staff was on site at EAFB along with AV MEDIA providing as much content as possible.
      Between the flight line access, NASASocial and NASA Dryden family event there was a lot to cover.

      Besides this there are a number of very serious news events unfolding in our community at this time and the AV Times was able to still have a reporter in the courtroom for testimony in the AV soccer coach child-molest case.

      As important as the Shuttle is, it was my pleasure to help so that more serious news could be provided to the community at the same time.

      • Michelle Egberts
        September 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm

        Excellent coverage Adam! Thank you for contributing this article, pictures and video. It is a historical and heartfelt moment for the Antelope Valley and I’m sure appreciated by many who could not witness it in person.

    • Matt K.
      September 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Why does it matter who covers the story?

      It shouldn’t so long as they do the best they can!

    • Jill
      September 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      That you fat boy?

    • Jack
      September 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Funny. Coming from a unemployed dude stuck behind a computer board all day.

  2. Observer
    September 21, 2012 at 9:24 am

    It is really unfortunate that we have a president in the White House who doesn’t see the value in space programs. What will come after the space shuttle? So far the answer is “nothing”!

    All of these years our best and brightest scientists, physicists, astronomers, astrobiologists and cosmologists researching outer space and distant galaxies and our space program is currently in shambles because we have a president and administration that do not believe in science or space exploration.

    Do not tell me not to make this political because it is very political and a very sobering day for the aerospace community in this Valley.

    • Gerald
      September 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      You must of been asleep. Missed the Mars landing did you?
      And why did your guys try to “depoliticize” NASA dropping Green and all other Dems from their efforts to support NASA? YOU KNOW, THE SAME GUYS WHO HAVE SUPPORTED NASA THEIR WHOLE TIME IN OFFICE??? Wake up Observer!
      The right is getting awful desperate on their attacks on Obama.
      Why is that? Think you might lose?

      • William
        September 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

        The right’s unrestrained desperation is running on all 7 cylinders as usual.

  3. Adam Chant
    September 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

    This morning there are already 500-1000 vehicles at B.J.s corner waiting for the Space Shuttle to make one last pass over Plant 42. As I traveled east down Avenue N at 7:15 this morning on my way to work I was alerted to the lack of flow in traffic on what is normally a very empty street. Within 1/2 a mile of Sierra Highway there was already cars pulled off the side of the road and the became more densely stacked as BJs corner approached. There has to be at least 100 cars packed on every square inch of BJs Corner and additional cars parked up and down Sierra Highway.
    My office sits about 1/2 a mile North of Avenue N on Sierra Highway and even our parking lot is beginning to fill up as I write this comment.

    I think this all goes to show you that there are a lot of people in this community that have in one way or another been involved with the Space shuttle program and may even feel a little slighted by not being able to see it land for the last time at EAFB. I actually spoke to a number of people at the main gate yesterday morning that were very disappointed that the new base commander prevented the public from accessing the facility for this event.
    There are a few viewing events planned for this morning all over California and at last word Palmdale will be later in the morning as the shuttle returns to Southern California on the way to LAX.

    • Adam Chant
      September 21, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Shuttle is flying first thing over Palmdale after leaving EAFB..

      • Gerald
        September 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm

        I got to see the Columbia’s first landing in ’81. History in the making, and now an end to a amazing program. Salute!

  4. QHR
    September 21, 2012 at 6:19 am

    What time can we expect the flyover by Plant 42 today?

  5. james stouvenel
    September 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Wow now Adam Chant is with the AV Times, congrats, excellent coverage of the space shuttle, now I wonder who will join the AVTimes next? You never know.

    • Quigley
      September 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      I know “let’s get Ace” kidding….

    • Adam Chant
      September 21, 2012 at 7:54 am

      While I would be considered a youngster in the scope of our valley’s aviation history I have been working in flight test for the last decade. AV Times contacted me about doing the story and I was more than happy to accommodate them. I appreciate the by line, but it was really a group effort of a number of people to make this story and excellent imagery available.

      I think it says a lot about AV Times that not only do they report the news, but they make an effort to find reporters who are knowledgeable in their subject to provide the best possible content to the readers.

Comments are closed.