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Endeavour Rolls Through LA Neighborhoods

The shuttle Endeavour is driven down Crenshaw Drive in Inglewood, CA on Saturday, October 13 (via NBC4 LA live feed)

This weekend the space shuttle Endeavour is on its way to the California Science Center, getting driven via Overland Transporter along 12 miles of Los Angeles roads at a more-or-less steady 2 mph. Hundreds of onlookers have gathered along the route to catch a glimpse of a real-life spaceship passing by just outside their front doors. Now that’s really not something you see every day!

Endeavour cleared one tree trunk by mere inches!

The move from Los Angeles International Airport, where it landed atop a Boeing 747 on Sept. 1, has been dubbed Mission 26. Endeavour flew 25 missions, traveled 122,883,151 miles and orbited Earth 4,671 times since 1992.

All together, the move is expected to cost about $10 million. The exhibit is set to open Oct. 30.

LA’s NBC affiliate is broadcasting Endeavour’s road trip live here.

(Images via NBC4 LA live video)

Farewell, Endeavour: The Last Shuttle’s Final Flight from Florida’s Space Coast

Space shuttle Endeavour left Kennedy Space Center this morning, September 19, 2012, ferried aboard a modified Boeing 747 headed for California

The space shuttle Endeavour, mounted atop NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), is seen shortly after takeoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The SCA, a modified 747 jetliner, is flying Endeavour to Los Angeles where it will be placed on public display at the California Science Center. The three-day trip will include flybys of many locations along the planned route, including New Orleans, Houston, Sacramento and San Francisco, as well as stopovers in Houston and Edwards Air Force Base. (Read more here.)

This is the final ferry flight of the Space Shuttle Program era and the last time an orbiter will take to the skies.

Photo credit: (NASA/Stan Jirman) See more images from Endeavour’s cross-country voyage here.

OMG Wow: Shuttle Landing Caught on Video!

Can’t see the video below? Click here.

This is one for the OMG Holy Crap files… a passenger on board an airplane waiting at JFK airport captured this incredible video this morning as the space shuttle Enterprise landed on the adjacent runway! Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime shot!

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One Week: Remembering the Last Landing of Atlantis

One week ago today at 5:57 am EDT the shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center, completing the STS-135 mission and bringing an end to the shuttle program. With memories of the launch still very fresh in my mind it’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since Atlantis’ final wheelstop. Kind of hard to believe.

“Mission complete, Houston. After serving the world for over 30 years the space shuttle has earned its place in history, and it’s come to a final stop.”

— STS-135 Commander Christopher Ferguson

Read more about the final landing and Atlantis on my previous post.

(Click here if you don’t see the video above.)

A Love Letter to the Space Shuttle

“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” – Robert Browning

Here’s a wonderful video compilation showing highlights from all the shuttle missions, from STS-1 to STS-135, created by the folks at Nature. It’s a lot of emotions packed into eight minutes, but above all there’s a powerful feeling of awe at what was accomplished through a lot of hard work, talent and bravery by many, many dedicated people.

Watch it. I’m sure you’ll agree.

This is a deeply personal film. Those spaceships have been in my life since as long as I can remember, and I think many feel that shared ownership. I can’t say I recall the very first mission, STS-1 in 1981, but my Dad and I watched Challenger fall from the sky live in 1986. The media became bored with the space shuttle as the missions became more and more routine, which is sad, because each one was a marvel. That astronauts could sit on top of such explosives and for that explosion to be controlled enough to escape Earth’s bonds is truly a feat of design engineering… this is my love letter to the space shuttle.  

– Adam Rutherford, Nature

And yes, sometimes love hurts. But, as they say, ’tis better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.

Read more about this video on the Guardian article. (Can’t see the video above? Click here.)

The End.

“Mission complete, Houston. After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle has earned its place in history, and it’s come to a final stop.”

— STS-135 Commander Christopher Ferguson

The shuttle Atlantis landed for the final time this morning at KSC. (NASA TV)

This morning, on July 21, 2011 at 5:57 am EDT, the space shuttle Atlantis and the STS-135 mission crew landed at Kennedy Space Center. It was the final landing of the last flight of the shuttle program, bringing its 33rd flight and a 30-year era of shuttle missions to a close.

The official time of wheel stop was 4:57.54 am CDT. That was the last self-powered forward motion of a shuttle.

Welcome home, Atlantis.

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Atlantis: The Last Launch

Can’t see the video below? Click here.

Check out this powerful and dramatic video showcasing highlights of the STS-135 shuttle mission, up to and including launch and booster separation.

If this doesn’t stir some emotions in you, you’re made of tougher stuff than me.

Credit: NASA TV

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