Friday, September 7, 2012

Space shuttle Endeavor to fly piggyback over Sacramento - Sacramento Bee

The last flight of the space shuttle Endeavor will occur piggyback on airplane that will fly low over many of the nation's cities - Sacramento included.

The space shuttle, retired after 25 missions, will start its final ferry flight from Florida on Sept. 17 when it departs Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility on the back of a modified 747 aircraft, according to NASA.

The aircraft will head west, conducting low flyovers of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the agency's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. When it arrives in Texas, the shuttle carrier aircraft will perform flyovers of Houston, Clear Lake and Galveston before landing near NASA's Johnson Space Center.

A one-day layover on Sept. 18 ends at sunrise on Sept. 19 when the aircraft departs Houston and makes a refueling stop at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso. Later flyovers Sept. 19 are planned in Las Cruces, New Mexico and Edwards Air Force Base in California, where it will land.

On Sept. 20, California will get an even better look. The 747 carrier with Endeavor aboard will take off from Edwards AFB and perform low-level flyovers of NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffet Field in the Bay area and many cities, including San Francisco and Sacramento.

The aircraft will buzz Southern California, before putting down at Los Angeles International Airport. The Endeavor will then be removed from the shuttle carrier and spend a few weeks in a hangar.

On Oct. 13, the grounded shuttle will make its way on streets, a journey of 12 miles, to the California Science Center, the new owners of the Endeavor. The shuttle goes on display Oct. 30.

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