Shuttle Endeavour Prepares For Final Flight Over California
UPDATE: NASA now says the shuttle will leave Edwards AFB at around 8:15 a.m. Friday, an hour later than originally planned.
Residents of eastern Kern County will get to see the space shuttle Endeavour take to the skies one last time on Friday, as the aging spacecraft makes its final journey to a museum in Los Angeles.
The shuttle, carried on the back of a specially modified 747 jetliner landed this afternoon at Edwards Air Force Base, after taking off earlier in the day in Texas.
Early Friday morning, the shuttle is scheduled to take off from Edwards for a final morning of flyovers over California landmarks, before reaching its final destination in Los Angeles.
After a flyover of several communities near Edwards Air Force Base, including Palmdale, Rosamond, Lancaster and Mojave, the shuttle will head north to Sacramento for a low-level flight over the state capitol. The Sacramento flyover is reportedly scheduled for around 8:30 a.m.
It is unknown whether the shuttle's flight will be visible from Fresno or other Central Valley cities. A representative from Fresno Air Traffic Control told Valley Public Radio today that the Fresno tower isn't aware of any planned Fresno area flyovers.
The shuttle will then head to the Bay Area, with flyovers of the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, the Discovery Museum, Chabot Space and Science Center, Exploratorium, Lawrence Hall of Science and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Once the shuttle reaches southern California it will make low-level flights over several key aerospace and science venues including California Science Center, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Griffith Observatory, as well as the Getty Center, Disneyland and Malibu.
The shuttle is expected to land at LAX at around noon, marking an end to Endeavour's airborne journeys. Next month the shuttle will be towed over city streets to the California Science Center at Exposition Park in Los Angeles, where it will later go on permanent display.