Retired shuttle orbiter Endeavour will make a three-day grand tour of NASA spaceflight facilities this month as it makes its way from theKennedy Space Center in Florida to Los Angeles, Calif., where it will be placed on public display at the California Science Center.
The plans, however, are subject to change because of the weather.
But they call for Endeavour to leave Kennedy at daybreak on Sept. 17 mounted atop NASA’s Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The SCA/Endeavour combination will fly low over the region, including Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Kennedy and the center’s visitors complex, then head west.
The westerly flight course would include low passes over the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, where NASA tested the shuttle main engines, and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, La., where the shuttle’s external fuel tank was produced.
The first day of the cross country flight would end in Texas with a flyover of Houston, Galveston and a landing at Ellington Field not far from the Johnson Space Center, which managed the design of the shuttle, trained space shuttle astronauts for their mission and serves as home to Mission Control.
Endeavour will remain at Ellington until early September 19. After taking flight once again at daybreak, the SCA will head forEl Paso,Tex., and a re-fueling stop at Biggs Army Airfield. Once again in flight, the SCA will make low passes over White Sands, N. M., where NASA maintained a shuttle runway, on its way to a mid-day landing at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California for an overnight stay at Edwards Air Force Base, home to another shuttle runway.
The SCA will take flight with Endeavour for the final leg of the journey on Sept. 20 and head for northern California, making low passes over the Ames Research Center, San Francisco and Sacramento before heading to Los Angeles for another low flyover and a landing at Los Angeles International Airport at 11 a.m., PDT.
Earlier this year, NASA ferried the orbiter Discovery to the Smithsonian Institution’s Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center in the Washington D. C. area and the test orbiter Enterprise to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum of New York for public display.
Orbiter Atlantis, still at Kennedy, will be transferred to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for public display later this year.