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The Final Space Shuttle on Pad 39A before Launch

The final mission in July 2011 the Space Shuttle program was STS-135, an add-on mission necessary to re-supply the International Space Station through the end of 2012.  This photograph is pre-dawn morning at Kennedy Space Center a day before the final flight.

Pete Crow at Launch Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, with STS-135, final mission in the shuttle program on pad behind him awaiting launch. (Carol Anne Swagler photograph, © 2011 Seine/Harbour Productions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At LAX cranes were used to lift the Shuttle off the 747’s back instead of the Mate/De-Mate permanent device that was used at Kennedy Space Center in Florida (shown here). Each Shuttle weighs a slightly different amount when they arrive at their respective museums because of what has been left on and taken off. Endeavour’s flight weight from KSC to LAX was 155-tons.

The Los Angeles Times has done two excellent videos on Endeavour. All are great fun and all are found HERE. Scroll around on the page to find them, and there’s also a 360-degree interactive picture on the arrival of Endeavour atop the 747 at LAX. Great stuff all!

DEMATE One is a time lapse of Endeavour’s demating process which was scheduled to take about 10 hours, beginning at midnight on her day of arrival (September 21, 2012) in front of a United Airlines Hangar at LAX.

ENDEAVOUR ROUTE TO CSC The second time lapse is a two-minute time lapse driving the route the Endeavour will follow through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center on October 12/13, 2012.

Once the demate procedure was completed from the 747, Endeavour was moved into a United Airlines Hangar. Title to Endeavour was transferred to the CSC in 2011, and Endeavour was safed up and certain alternations were made by NASA in an OPF (Orbiter Processing Facility) at the direction of CSC. Then Endeavour was moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building for storage and Atlantis took her place in the OPF so Atlantis could be prepared for delivery to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center in November.

Endeavour did not fly to California empty. Tucked inside here were packages of patches designed by NASA for the California Science Center which were to be handed out at the arrival ceremony at LAX in order to commemorate Endeavour’s arrival on the west coast.

Endeavour is the newest of the Shuttle fleet. She was flown to California by at least one member of the crew that picked her up in Palmdale taking delivery in 1991.

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Thursday, the Shuttle Eneavour flies from Houston to Biggs Army Base, Texas (re-fuel), and then spend the night at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour, atop the NASA 747-100, is easy for you to follow across the United States — simply go HERE, and then enter NASA905 as the flight number. The full tail number of the airplane which Endeavour is mated to N905NA. Enter only “NASA905”, however.

Here’s the route:

CLICK to ENLARGE // To track Endeavour as she flies across the United States go to flightaware.com, look midway down the left side of the home page and find this panel. You will find the flight like this: Enter “NASA905″in the “Flight#” panel. That’s all there is to it! :

(Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to Houston’s Ellington Air Force Base — September 19);

(then Houston/Ellington to Biggs Army Airfield/El Paso (re-fuel) to Edwards/Dryden,California — September 20).

(THEN Edwards/Dryden north to Northern California and south landing at LAX between 11 am and Noon — September 21).

Here’s how to track her:

First — go to the link above which will take you to FlightAware — ( http://www.flightaware,com )

Then — find the panel halfway down the lefthand side of the FlightAware home page that looks like the panel directly to your left here. Under “Private Flight Tracker” enter the “Flight/Tail#” — “NASA905”.

Bingo!

This assumes previous flight numbers and designations remain the same for this flight. Don’t egg my house if it proves not to be the case — but it sure ought to be.

MAPS of LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (below — scroll down)

And, beow are maps of LAX. The 747/Endeavour will land on the southern runway paralleling the Imperial Highway at the terminus of Freeway 105 and likely approach, as most aircraft do when landing at LAX, from east, landing to the west toward the Pacific Ocean. Expect it to stop about three-quarters of the way down the runway. Great views of her to the east will be possible for a wide swatch of Los Angeles along the 105.

Note, however: That Mother-of-all-LAX-Planespotting — at the In-n-Out Burger on Sepulveda at the end of the northernmost easternmost end of the runway — will be worthless since the shuttle will be approaching and landing far away to the south.

At the Sepulveda location planes dip almost directly over your head which makes it a great place, especially since the landing lights straddle Sepulveda.

On the other hand, If you’re not expecting it, you might swallow your entire burger and fries in a single gulp when the first one rumbles over you.

At the peak hours as many as 10 planes can land adjacent to you as you sit in line waiting at In-n-Out to get your burgers.

LAX courtesy of Google maps. NASA905 will likely land east to west (right to left) rolling to a stop about 3/4 down the southernmost (bottom) runway. Watching her land from Imperial Highway will be a cinch. Even better would be if you were checked into one of the rooms at the Embassy Suites midway down the runway. No surprise. The hotel is completely booked.

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LAX as it is known to pilots and the FAA. The 747 will spend Thursday night at Dryden/Edwards (high desert north of Palmdale), then head to Northern California before landing at LAX between 11am and Noon. Endeavour will go through the streets of LA on October 12/13, and is expected to open for public viewing at the California Science Center on October 30.

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(official NASA press release sent to Media on evening of September 16, 2012)

WEATHER POSTPONES SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR FERRY FLIGHT TO SEPT. 18

WASHINGTON — NASA’s planned ferry flight of space shuttle Endeavour
atop the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) has been postponed until
Tuesday, Sept. 18 due to an unfavorable weather forecast for Monday,
Sept. 17.

NASA’s 747-100 on the ground at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, after arriving on September 11, 2012. Later in the week the Shuttle Endeavour was mated to her back (scroll down to next post) for the Endeavour’s final ride to Los Angeles and to the California Science Museum. Departure from Florida was re-scheduled to Tuesday, September 18, 2012, because of en route weather.

To ensure a safe flight for Endeavour and the SCA, NASA managers, in
consultation with the California Science Center, decided Sunday to
delay the flight because of inclement weather predicted along the
flight path between Houston and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where
the flight will originate.

On Oct. 11, 2011, NASA transferred title and ownership of Endeavour to
the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Despite the one-day
delayed departure from Kennedy, NASA still plans to transport
Endeavour to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) by Thursday,
Sept. 20.

In cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, the SCA is
scheduled to conduct low-level flyovers at about 1,500 feet above
locations along the planned flight path. The exact timing and path of
the ferry flight will depend on weather conditions and operational
constraints. Some planned flyovers or stopovers could be delayed or
cancelled. If the ferry flight is postponed again, an additional
advisory will be issued.

At sunrise on Sept. 18, the SCA and Endeavour will depart Kennedy’s
Shuttle Landing Facility and perform a flyover of various areas of
the Space Coast, including Kennedy, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor
Complex, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base.

The aircraft will fly west and conduct low flyovers of NASA’s Stennis
Space Center in Mississippi and the agency’s Michoud Assembly
Facility in New Orleans. As it arrives over the Texas Gulf Coast
area, the SCA will perform low flyovers above various areas of
Houston and Clear Lake before landing at Ellington Field near NASA’s
Johnson Space Center.

At sunrise on Wednesday, Sept. 19, the aircraft will depart Houston,
make a refueling stop at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, and
conduct low-level flyovers of White Sands Test Facility near Las
Cruces, N.M., and NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air
Force Base in California, before landing around mid-day at Dryden.

On the morning of Sept. 20, the SCA and Endeavour will take off from
Dryden and perform a low-level flyover of northern California,
passing near NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif.,
and various landmarks in multiple cities, including Sacramento and
San Francisco. The aircraft also will conduct a flyover of many Los
Angeles sites before landing about 11 a.m. PDT at LAX.

Social media users are encouraged to share their Endeavour sightings
using the hashtags #spottheshuttle and #OV105, Endeavour’s orbiter
vehicle designation.

After arrival at LAX, Endeavour will be removed from the SCA and spend
a few weeks at a United Airlines hangar undergoing preparations for
transport and display. Endeavour then will travel through Inglewood
and Los Angeles city streets on a 12-mile journey from the airport to
the science center, arriving in the evening on Oct. 13.

Beginning Oct. 30, the shuttle will be on display in the science
center’s Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion,
embarking on its new mission to commemorate past achievements in
space and educate and inspire future generations of explorers.
Endeavour completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited
Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles.

For information about NASA’s transfer of space shuttles to museums,
visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/transition

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