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Endeavour on track to arrive at Edwards AFB on Thursday

The cross-country farewell tour of the space shuttle Endeavour was expected to continue as scheduled Thursday when it heads to Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert, officials at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center confirmed Wednesday.

Secured atop a shuttle carrier aircraft, Endeavour is expected to leave Houston at dawn and arrive at Edwards shortly after noon. Following a brief flyover around the base, it would land about 12.30 p.m., officials said.

To welcome the space shuttle to Southern California NASA has invited 40 of its social media followers, including space enthusiasts, to the Dryden center. The participants were randomly selected from online registrations that took place in August, according to information published by the space agency.

FULL COVERAGE: Endeavour's final journey to L.A.

The group, restricted to U.S. citizens older than 18 who follow NASA on Twitter, Facebook and Google+,  will have a rare opportunity to see the landing and departure of Endeavour, officials said. They will also be given the opportunity to speak with experts, tour shuttle support vehicles and other NASA aircraft, as well as interact with members of NASA's social media team, according to the published information.

Portions of the so-called NASA social will be carried live on the space agency’s television station and website, according to NASA’s website.

A few VIPs, including local officials, military personnel and Air Force One service members, will also have on-site viewing privileges at Edwards, Dryden officials said.

PHOTOS: Space shuttle Endeavour arrives

Endeavor is scheduled to lift off from the main runway at Edwards about 7:15 a.m. on Friday and will conduct a low-level flyover of several nearby communities, including Palmdale, Lancaster, Rosamond and Mojave. It will then swing north for a flyover around Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, according to published information.

On its return to Southern California, the shuttle will continue flyovers of the Los Angeles area, beginning about 10:30 a.m. before making its way to Los Angeles International Airport.

Tweet your photos to @latimes or @lanow with the hashtag #SpotTheShuttle. Don't forget to tell us your vantage point! Photos can also be uploaded here. Check back -- we'll be compiling the best reader photos.

RELATED:

Space shuttle Endeavour lands in Houston

Space shuttle Endeavour departs Florida for Los Angeles

Space shuttle Endeavour's takeoff for L.A. captured in photos

-- Ann M. Simmons

 
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