Shuttle Endeavour readied for voyage to final home in Los Angeles
Final preparations are underway in Florida for NASA's space shuttle Endeavour to leave the East Coast on Monday and begin its voyage to its permanent home in Los Angeles.
The shuttle was to be attached Friday to the top of a Boeing 747 for the cross-country trip.
On Monday at 7:15 a.m. EDT, Endeavor is set to depart NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., for the last time and head to L.A., marking a momentous return to Southern California, where the spacecraft was developed and built.
NASA's plans for delivering the retired shuttle Endeavour to its permanent home in California call for the orbiter to fly on the back of the Boeing 747 over parts of Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico, as well as landmarks in San Francisco and Sacramento, before landing at Los Angeles International Airport on Sept. 20.
At sunrise on Sept. 19, Endeavour will depart Houston, and visit Edwards Air Force Base, where the space shuttles first landed. The next day, the aircraft will conduct a flyover of many Los Angeles sites before landing about 11 a.m. at Los Angeles International Airport.
On the morning of Sept. 20, the plane will conduct low-level flyovers of NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field near San Jose, and yet-to-be-specified landmarks in San Francisco, Sacramento and perhaps other California cities before a low-level flyover of Los Angeles.
The plane is expected to land at Los Angeles International Airport at about 11 a.m. Pacific time. Still to be announced is which landmarks Endeavour will fly over. The Hollywood sign? The Golden Gate Bridge? The four-level interchange? Stay tuned.
-- W.J. Hennigan and Kate Mather
Photo: Space shuttle Endeavour is mated to a modified 747 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times