Stunning Photos of Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Flight


If you were like us, last week your Facebook feed was inundated with photos of people capturing space shuttle Endeavour as it soared right above our heads. Piggybacking on top of a modified 747, it was an incredible sight and, without a doubt, one that most people will remember forever. In Southern California, Endeavour cross-crossed the skies, flying just 1,500 feet above some of California's most recognizable landmarks including Getty Center, Griffith Observatory, Disneyland, Dodgers Stadium and the Hollywood sign. Interestingly, many of the the low-level flybys had direct ties to NASA's Space Shuttle Program over the past 40 years.

The final, 3-day journey started in Florida on Wednesday, taking off from Kennedy Space Center. It made two pit stops - one at Ellington Field in Houston and one at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Endeavour, NASA's youngest space shuttle, is destined for public display at the California Science Center. Its first flight was in 1992 and its final flight was in May and June of 2011. Endeavour flew 25 space missions throughout its life, spending 299 days in space and orbiting the Earth nearly 4,700 times. In all, it racked up an astounding 123 million miles.

After safely landing in LAX, it will now remain at the airport hanger for several weeks as crews prepare its epic roadtrip through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center in downtown. The 12-mile journey will require 400 trees to be removed so that the five-story-high shuttle with a 78-foot wingspan can make its way to its final resting place.

Now, taken from NASA as well as some talented Flickr photographers, here are the most awe-inspiring photos of Endeavour's final flight.

Above photo credit: Kevin MacLeod


Early Morning Departure: Space Shuttle Endeavour is ferried by NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) over the Kennedy Space Center (Florida) in the early morning hours of September 19, 2012 as it departs for California. Photo Credit: NASA/ Robert Markowitz


Endeavour Fly-over Houston, TX: Space Shuttle Endeavour is ferried by NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) over Houston, Texas on September 19, 2012. Photo Credit: NASA/ Sheri Locke


Reliant Stadium and the Astrodome in Houston provide the backdrop as NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and space shuttle Endeavour soar over city landmarks before touching down at Ellington Field. Photo credit: NASA


Space Shuttle Endeavour and NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) at Ellington Field in the late evening hours of September 19, 2012 before it departs for California. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford


Endeavour Departs Ellington Field: Space Shuttle Endeavour is ferried by NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) over Ellington Field in the early morning hours of September 20, 2012 as it departs for California. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford


Space shuttle Endeavour takes off from Edwards Air Force Base near the Dryden Flight Research Facility in Southern California for its final ferry flight, a sightseeing trip over California, before arriving at its new museum home in Los Angeles on Sept. 21, 2012.


NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carrying space shuttle Endeavour soars over the high desert of Southern California following takeoff from Edwards Air Force Base Friday morning on the last "California Tour" leg of its ferry flight into history, September 21, 2012. Photo Credit: NASA/ Jim Ross


Endeavour Over The Golden Gate Bridge: The space shuttle Endeavour and its 747 carrier aircraft soar over the Golden Gate Bridge during the final portion of its tour of California, Sept. 21, 2012. Photo Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas


The space shuttle Endeavour atop NASA's modified 747 carrier soars over the Tehachapi Mountains southeast of Bakersfield, Calif., during its Tour of California, the last leg of its final ferry flight into history. Photo Credit: NASA/Jim Ross


The space shuttle Endeavour and its 747 carrier aircraft soar off the California coast near Ventura as it heads to the Los Angeles area during the final portion of its tour of California, Sept. 21, 2012. Photo Credit: NASA/Jim Ross


The space shuttle Endeavour atop the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft is seen flying over the LA Coliseum in Los Angeles during the final portion of its tour of California, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Photo Credit: NASA/Jim Ross


The space shuttle Endeavour atop the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft is seen flying over Disneyland in Anaheim during the final portion of its tour of California, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Photo Credit: NASA/Jim Ross


The space shuttle Endeavour atop the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft is seen flying over Getty Center in Los Angeles during the final portion of its tour of California, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Photo Credit: NASA/Jim Ross


The space shuttle Endeavour atop the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft is seen flying over Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles during the final portion of its tour of California, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Photo Credit: NASA/Jim Ross


Shuttle Observers: A massive crowd gathered at the Griffith Observatory to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour's final flight. Photo Credit: Magnetic Lobster


What a way to end! Endeavour cruises over the Hollywood sign as it nears the end of its final journey


Endeavour Lands at LAX: The space shuttle Endeavour, atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, or SCA, lands at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2012 in Los Angeles where it will be placed on public display at the California Science Center.


Endeavour Offload at LAX: The Over Land Transporter (OLT) is mated to the space shuttle Endeavour not long after Endeavour was demated from the NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at Los Angeles International Airport.

Source: NASA HQ

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