Cape Canaveral: Endeavour will make its final journey on Monday and leave home for good.
At sunrise Monday, NASA`s retired space shuttle will depart from Kennedy Space Center for a museum in California. A modified Boeing 747 will land at the Kennedy Space Center and then the shuttle will be out atop a modified jumbo jet that will carry the orbiter to Los Angeles.
The youngest shuttle, on its way to California, will stop for two days at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Endeavour is the second of NASA’s three retired shuttles to head to a museum. It was built to replace NASA’s shuttle Challenger and made its flying debut in 1992, six years after the launch accident. It performed the next-to-last shuttle mission in May and June 2011.
During its 25 missions, Endeavour logged 299 days in space and circled Earth 4,671 times. Total off-the-planet mileage: 122.8 million miles.
After leaving Houston on Wednesday, Endeavour will stop for fuel at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, and then perform a low flyover of the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, which served for decades as an emergency shuttle landing site. Then it will head to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, another old shuttle touchdown venue.
On Thursday, Endeavour will fly to Northern California, home to Ames Research Center in Mountain View.
The shuttle will make its final 12-mile journey from the airport to the California Science Center, via city streets, on October 12-13. It will go on public display October 30 onwards.
(With Agency inputs)