Endeavour Arrives in California at Edwards AFB

The space shuttle entered the Golden State, landing at Edwards Air Force Base

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Space Shuttle Endeavour was poised to leave Edwards AFB on its final flight. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11pm on Thursday, September 20, 2012 (Published Wednesday, Oct 3, 2012)

    The space shuttle Endeavour entered the Golden State midday Thursday, a day before it lands in Los Angeles, its future permanent home.

    On the back of a modified Boeing 747, the retired shuttle landed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in Edwards, Calif.

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    After 25 missions and more than 122 million miles, the space shuttle Endeavour arrived Southern California on Thursday. NASA employees were the first to see the shuttle as it landed at Edwards Air Force Base. But fog in the Bay Area may alter the shuttle’s Friday route. Robert Kovacik reports from Edwards Air Force Base for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2012. (Published Thursday, Sep 20, 2012)

    The ferry flight landed at 12:50 p.m. Thursday after a take off from a stopover in El Paso, Texas, at about 11 a.m. local time, according to a Dryden status report.

    The shuttle did several low-level flyovers along the way to California, including at the Tucson, Ariz., home of the last person to command an Endeavour mission: retired astronaut Mark Kelly, and his wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

    "That's my spaceship,'' Mark Kelly said as the couple watched the shuttle loop overhead.

    Kelly and Giffords recently moved back to Tucson from Houston, where Giffords was recovering from serious injuries she suffered in a 2011 attack in which a gunman killed six people and wounded Giffords and 12 others.

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    The shuttle's journey to California marks a kind of homecoming for the orbiter, which was completed in Palmdale in 1987.

    Endeavour performed a brief flyover of Edwards before landing on Runway 22L.

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    The nation’s third busiest airport is trying to mitigate the affect the space shuttle Endeavour has on travellers. Part of their plan to keep traffic flowing smoothly is encouraging those hoping to catch a glimpse of the shuttle to watch from locations like the El Segundo Ridge or the Griffith Observatory. Patrick Healy reports from El Segundo for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2012. (Published Thursday, Sep 20, 2012)

    Endeavour will spend the night at Edwards, departing the base at 8:15 a.m. Friday for a California tour that will take it to the state capitol building in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.

    That departure time is a delay of about an hour. NASA said the departure had been delayed "to increase the probability that fog over the San Francisco area will dissipate before the flyover."

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    The space shuttle Endeavour was built in Palmdale, and it finally returned home Thursday. A family from Riverside and classes of local fifth and sixth grade students witnessed the shuttle's low-flying arrival to Edwards Air Force Base. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Palmdale for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2012. (Published Thursday, Sep 20, 2012)

    It's expected to a low fly by over Palmdale, Lancaster, Rosamond and Mojave before heading to Northern California.

    Returning to Southern California, the Endeavour will do flyovers of multiple Los Angeles-area locations before landing at LAX at about 12:45 p.m. An arrival ceremony is planned at the airport.

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    Pete Merlin says the space shuttle Endeavour – which was built in Southern California – has "performed admirable" and SoCal is ready to welcome the shuttle back home. Robert Kovacik reports from Edwards Air Force Base for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2012. (Published Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012)

    Exact times and exact locations of the flyover spots are not being provided by NASA for security reasons, and weather and other considerations may alter the schedule. However, NASA on Thursday said the California Science Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, the Getty Center, Griffith Observatory, Disneyland and Malibu were among the planned locations.

    LA-area flybys were expected to take place any time at 11:30 a.m.

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    Endeavour flew atop a Boeing 747 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Ellington Field in Texas on Wednesday. The space shuttle will tour the Los Angeles area at low elevation Friday, allowing many Angelenos to see Endeavour's last time in the sky. Patrick Healy reports from Exposition Park for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2012. (Published Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012)

    The shuttle will stay at Los Angeles International Airport until Oct. 12, when it's slated to begin its two-day overland journey to its new home at the California Science Center, southwest of downtown LA.

    Endeavour will go on display Oct. 30 in the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion.