NASA’s planned ferry flight of space shuttle Endeavour atop the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft has been postponed until Sept. 18 due to an unfavorable weather forecast for Sept. 17.
To ensure a safe flight for Endeavour and the SCA, NASA managers, in consultation with the California Science Center, decided Sunday to delay the flight because of inclement weather predicted along the flight path between Houston and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where the flight will originate.
On Oct. 11, 2011, NASA transferred title and ownership of Endeavour to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Despite the one-day delayed departure from Kennedy, NASA still plans to transport Endeavour to Los Angeles International Airport by Sept. 20.
In cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, the SCA is scheduled to conduct low-level flyovers at about 1,500 feet above locations along the planned flight path. The exact timing and path of the ferry flight will depend on weather conditions and operational constraints. Some planned flyovers or stopovers could be delayed or cancelled. If the ferry flight is postponed again, an additional advisory will be issued.
At sunrise on Sept. 18, the SCA and Endeavour will depart Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility and perform a flyover of various areas of the Space Coast, including Kennedy, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base.
The aircraft will fly west and conduct low flyovers of NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. As it arrives over the Texas Gulf Coast area, the SCA will perform low flyovers above various areas of Houston and Clear Lake before landing at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
At sunrise on Wednesday, Sept. 19, the aircraft will depart Houston, make a refueling stop at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, and conduct low-level flyovers of White Sands Test Facility near Las Cruces, N.M., and NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, before landing around mid-day at Dryden.
On the morning of Sept. 20, the SCA and Endeavour will take off from Dryden and perform a low-level flyover of northern California, passing near NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., and various landmarks in multiple cities, including Sacramento and San Francisco. The aircraft also will conduct a flyover of many Los Angeles sites before landing about 11 a.m. PDT at LAX.
Social media users are encouraged to share their Endeavour sightings using the hashtags #spottheshuttle and #OV105, Endeavour’s orbiter vehicle designation.
After arrival at LAX, Endeavour will be removed from the SCA and spend a few weeks at a United Airlines hangar undergoing preparations for transport and display.
Endeavour then will travel through Inglewood and Los Angeles city streets on a 12-mile journey from the airport to the science center, arriving in the evening on Oct. 13.
Beginning Oct. 30, the shuttle will be on display in the science center’s Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, embarking on its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and educate and inspire future generations of explorers.
Endeavour completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles.