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: