Shuttle Endeavour on 747 for Flight to LA
For the last time in space shuttle history, a NASA orbiter has been mounted to the top of a jumbo jet to be flown to its next destination.
For shuttle Endeavour, now sitting piggyback atop the space agency’s modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), its next and final mission is to become a museum exhibit. The spacecraft, flying aboard the aircraft, will leave at sunrise on Monday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for Los Angeles, where it is destined for display at the California Science Center (CSC).
“It is the youngest of our fleet, it’s our baby,” said Stephanie Stilson, NASA’s flow director for orbiter transition and retirement, as she discussed Endeavour’s soon departure. “We are letting go of our baby and turning her over to California.”
Endeavour was built in the wake of the loss of space shuttle Challenger in 1986. It flew 25 missions, many to support assembly of the International Space Station, before being retired in June 2011.