Space shuttle lands in California

2012-09-21 09:32
The Space Shuttle Endeavour is ferried by Nasa's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) over the Organ Mountians in Las Cruces, New Mexico. (Robin Zielinski, The Las Cruces Sun-News, AP)

The Space Shuttle Endeavour is ferried by Nasa's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) over the Organ Mountians in Las Cruces, New Mexico. (Robin Zielinski, The Las Cruces Sun-News, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Edwards Air Force Base - The space shuttle Endeavour, carried piggyback atop a jumbo jet, landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Thursday at the tail end of a cross-country trip to Los Angeles to begin its final mission as a museum exhibit.

The specially modified Boeing 747 with the newly retired spaceship perched on its back touched down safely at 12:50 local time  at Edwards, about 160km north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert.

Nasa retired its shuttle fleet last year after completing the US portion of the $100bn International Space Station, a permanently staffed research complex that is owned by 15 nations and orbits about 400km above Earth.

Endeavour embarked on its last cross-county "ferry" journey on Wednesday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and made several low-altitude passes over Nasa centres in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas before stopping for the night at Ellington Field near the Johnson Space Centre in Houston.

The trip resumed early on Thursday, with Endeavour and its carrier jet making additional flyovers - one over Tucson, Arizona, in a salute to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut who commanded Endeavour's final flight on his last mission in late May 2011.

Backup

Giffords, still recuperating from a gunshot wound to the head suffered in an attempt on her life last year, watched the flyover from the roof of a Tucson parking garage with her husband and mother, according to former aide CJ Karamargin, who joined them.

"When it came into view, Mark said, 'There's my spaceship!'" Karamargin recounted. "Gabby was just elated, hooting and hollering like the rest of us were."

From Arizona, Endeavour and its carrier jet flew on to California, where the spacecraft was built two decades ago, for the landing at Edwards Air Force Base.

The sprawling installation used to serve as the primary landing site for Nasa's shuttle programme before the space agency built a landing facility for the orbiters at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. Edwards then became the principal backup landing spot for shuttles in case of bad weather at Cape Canaveral.

Endeavour made seven landings at Edwards during its active tenure at Nasa, most recently in November 2008.

The shuttle was scheduled to depart Edwards on Friday for its very last ferry flight, and the final airborne journey of the entire space shuttle fleet, headed for Los Angeles International Airport.

The 75 ton winged spacecraft will then undergo preparations to be moved next month through city streets from the airport to its permanent home at the California Science Centre in downtown Los Angeles, where the shuttle will be put on public display starting on 30 Oct0ber.

To make way for the mammoth orbiter along its 19km route to the museum, crews are cutting down nearly 400 trees, raising overhead utility wires and temporarily removing hundreds of utility poles, street lights and traffic signals. The science centre has agreed to plant 1 000 new trees to replace those slated for removal.
Read more on:    space
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel
 

LOL treadmill fail!

Watch this hilarious clip! We think this man should rather be running outside this summer!

 
 

I love summer.24

Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos
7 drinks you need to make this party season

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

15% off LEGO

Save 15% when you buy 2 or more Lego toys. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.