The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Multimedia

September 19, 2012

Space shuttle Endeavour heads west to new mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. —

Space shuttle Endeavour embarked on its new life as a museum piece Wednesday, leaving behind its NASA home and heading west on the last ferry flight of its kind.

Bolted to the top of a jumbo jet, NASA's youngest shuttle departed Kennedy Space Center at sunrise on the first leg of its flight to California.

Hundreds of people — astronauts, space center workers, tourists and journalists — gathered at the runway to bid Endeavour farewell following two days of rain delays. Crowds also lined the nearby beaches as the shuttle swooped in and out of low clouds in one final show.

Onlookers waved, saluted, blew kisses and cheered as Endeavour made one last swoop over its old landing strip, and then aimed for the Gulf of Mexico.

"You know what? I am feeling a tremendous amount of pride," said astronaut Kay Hire, who flew aboard Endeavour two years ago.

Several hours later, onlookers cheered excitedly as Endeavour flew over its landing place in Houston, not far from the home of NASA's Mission Control and all the astronauts.

Endeavor will spend the night in Houston before continuing its journey to Los Angeles International Airport, where it's scheduled to land Friday.

In mid-October, Endeavor will be transported down city streets to the California Science Center.

If Endeavour couldn't remain anchored at the International Space Station, its main destination in recent years, then the science center is an ideal final stop, said astronaut Gregory Chamitoff. He will be on hand for Endeavour's arrival in Los Angeles.

Chamitoff grew up in California and flew to the space station in spring 2011 on Endeavour's final trip to orbit.

"I guess I didn't really know how I would feel until I woke up, and I think this is more exciting than it is sad for me," he said.

This is the last flight for a space shuttle. Atlantis will remain at Kennedy for display. Discovery is already at the Smithsonian Institution, parked at a hangar in Virginia since April.

Endeavour — the replacement for the destroyed Challenger shuttle — made its debut in 1992 and flew 25 times in space before retiring. It logged 123 million miles in space and circled Earth nearly 4,700 times.

The back-to-back delays in the ferry flight resulted in one day being cut from the Houston visit. The city was one of the bidders for a permanent shuttle exhibit, but had to settle for a mock-up from Kennedy. It lost out to New York City for the Enterprise, the shuttle prototype that was housed for years at the Smithsonian.

NASA retired its shuttle fleet last summer, under the direction of the White House, to spend more time and money on reaching destinations beyond low-Earth orbit. Asteroids and the planet Mars are on the space agency's radar for crewed missions.

___

Online:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Multimedia
  • bomb1 VIDEO | A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25801486.jpg VIDEO | Northern California bus crash kills 10

    At least nine people died in Northern California on Thursday night, in an accident involving a bus, a car and FedEx truck. The bus was filled with high school students from Southern California who were on their way to visit a college campus.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 10.25.07 AM.png VIDEO | Cement truck crashes into minivan

    A professor at Texas A&M University was fortunate to escape serious injury recently when a cement truck ran a red light at a College Station intersection and crashed head-on into his minivan. A dash camera that Dr. Guan Zhu had installed about a year ago captured the entire incident.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • McCutchen hair.jpg VIDEO: Pittsburgh catches on to McCutchen's hairstyle

    Major League Baseball is using Andrew McCutchen in its newest advertisement. The spot is part of the "For the Love of Baseball" campaign and features the Pittsburgh residents showing their support for the Pirates center fielder and reigning National League MVP by wearing their hair in his trademark dreadlock style.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 4.02.29 PM.png VIDEO | Nebraska prom mishap goes viral

    A group of 22 high school students from Pierce, Neb., all decked out in prom finery, took an unplanned dip in a four-foot-deep pond when the bridge they were posing on for pictures gave way. Photos from the incident have gone viral on social media.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 3.36.06 PM.png 3 apps to make your flight easier

    Whether you fly once a week for work or once a year for a vacation, you can bet that all areas of your trip are being monitored by smart phones. While it isn't hard to find an app with your flight info, some apps make the process of flying a lot simpler.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO | White House may ban selfies

    The White House wasn't too pleased after Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped a selfie with President Obama that was later used promotionally by Samsung.

    April 9, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.43.57 AM.png VIDEO | Amazing dance moves at NCAA title game

    Eye-catching action wasn't confined to the court at AT&T Stadium Monday night during the NCAA Championship game between UConn and Kentucky. This pair -- apparently a father and son -- delighted the crowd during a timeout with some synchronized dance moves.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • hank_aaron_display_image.jpg VIDEO | Aaron's historic homer

    On the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th career home run, take a look at the historic moment as it happened.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • stars VIDEO | Ex-pros, local hoops stars tip off at War Memorial Arena

    Fans from all corners of the county were thrilled Friday night when hometown hoops stars stood tall next to former pro ballers at the War Memorial Arena’s inaugural Cambria County All-Stars Basketball Game – even though the height differential between the two teams was quite unfavorable.
    SportsPower International bands former NBA and international basketball players together, touring them around the world and spreading positive Christian ideals through the love of the game.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results

House Ads