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Endeavour to Complete Final Journey

Sep 21, 2012 09:06 AM EDT
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After two days of delay due to bad weather, space shuttle Endeavour will complete its final journey by landing at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Friday (Sept. 21).

Endeavour, which is currently at the Edwards Air Force Base in California, will take off at 8:15 a.m. PDT, one hour later than the scheduled time in order to increase the probability that the fog over San Francisco will dissolve before the shuttle makes a low flyover in the area, reported NASA.

The space shuttle, fixed atop a Boeing 747 jet, will make low passes over Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. It will travel for four-and-a-half hours covering various places including Bay Area Discovery Museum, the California State Capitol, NASA's Ames Research Center and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lawrence Hall of Science and Monterey Bay Aquarium, California Science Center, Columbia Memorial Space Center, Disneyland, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Universal Studios. [For complete list of places, click here]

Endeavour will finally land about 12:45 p.m., at the LAX. The space shuttle will be moved on roads to the California Science Center between October 12-13. NASA Television will air the live coverage of the space shuttle's departure from Edwards Air Force Base at 8 a.m. PDT.

The space shuttle was flown from Houston's Ellington Field to the Edwards Air Force Base for an overnight stay. Before that it made a fuel stop at the Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso on Thursday. It flew over Tuscon, Arizona, on its way from Texas to California, in order to honor Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly who was the commander of the last Endeavour mission, reported CNN.

"The space shuttle is really a testament to American engineering and ingenuity," he told CNN affiliate KOLD. "It is the most amazing spacecraft ever built, by far."

Endeavour retired along with two other space shuttles - Atlantis and Discovery - in 2011. It was built to replace the space shuttle Challenger that broke apart killing seven crew members in January 1986.

Most of Endeavour's work has been involved to build the International Space Station, a research laboratory orbiting some 250 miles above Earth.

While Endeavour will be on display at the California Science Center in October, the other space shuttle Atlantis will be on display at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida in November.

Discovery was the first retired shuttle to move to its permanent home at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington in April.

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