Update: Shuttle Endeavour Bids Farewell To Space Coast

By  //  September 19, 2012

Shuttle Departs For Permanent Home


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BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – The final ferry flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour has left the Space Coast.

An era ends at the Kenendy Space Center as Space Shuttle Endeavour and its accompanying aircraft depart on its final ferry flight to a permanent home in California. (Image by Christey Krause)

At 7:41 a.m. Wednesday while carried about a modified 747 on a trip west to its permanent home at a museum in Los Angeles, Endeavour made a final pass over the Kennedy Space Center.

Weighing 500,000 pounds and traveling at a speed of 210 knots, Endeavour’s ferry flight performed a 1,500-foot flyover of the coastline south to Patrick Air Force Base before turning back for a final 200-foot high pass over the space center.

Endeavour then turned west, passed over Titusville and Orlando and then headed north toward the Panhandle, Mississippi and New Orleans.

The shuttle and the carrier aircraft is expected to land in Houston at Ellington Field near the Johnson Space Center at about 10:45 a.m. Central Time for an overnight stay.

On Thursday the ferry flight will land at Biggs Army Air Field near El Paso, Texas for refueling then continue west to Edwards Air Force Base where it will spend Thursday night before arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday.

Space Shuttle Endeavour approaches Patrick Air Force Base while on a flyover as part of its final ferry flight to a permanent home in California. (Image by John M. Egan)

Space Shuttle Endeavor flew a total of 25 missions starting in 1992 and ending with a fight in May 2011.

Endeavour is youngest of the shuttle fleet completed by Rockwell International in 1991 following the 1986 Challenger explosion.

It was the first shuttle mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993 and carried the first black female astronaut Mae Jemison into space in 1992.

In all, Endeavour logged 122,853,151 miles and 299 days total in space. It rendezvoused with the Mir Space Station in 1998 and brought equipment and construction pieces to the ISS for assembly from 1998 to 2002.

Its first crew launched on May 7, 1992 and included Daniel Brandenstein, Kevin P. Chilton, Pierre J. Thuot, Kathryn C. Thornton, Richard J. Hieb, Thomas D. Akers and Bruce E. Melnick.

Endeavour’s last crew landed June 1, 2011 at Kennedy Space Center and included Mark Kelly, Gregory H. Johnson,  Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency’s Roberto Vittori.