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Space shuttle Endeavour leaves Edwards AFB

December 10, 2008 |  8:02 am

Shuttle500

Liftoff: The space shuttle Endeavour takes off from Edwards Air Force Base piggybacked to a modified 747 on its way back to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. More photos of Endeavour

The space shuttle Endeavour is headed home 10 days after an unscheduled stop in Southern California.

The shuttle took off at 7 this morning from Edwards Air Force Base, about 65 miles northeast of Los Angeles, mounted atop a modified Boeing 747 jetliner for a piggyback ride to Florida's Cape Canaveral, NASA said in a statement posted on its website.

Depending on weather conditions along the route, Endeavour could touch down at Kennedy Space Center as soon as Thursday afternoon or Friday, NASA said. The shuttle landed at Edwards Air Force Base on Nov. 30 after a 16-day mission to service the International Space Station. It was rerouted to California because of stormy weather at its main landing site in Florida. Endeavour was supposed to leave on Sunday, but a technical delay and bad weather delayed the trip.

--Alexandra Zavis

Photo: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times
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