Welcome Home Endeavour
By Nathan Wong on September 24, 2012
After 296 days, 3 hours, 34 minutes, and 2 seconds in space travelling 122,883,151 miles (about 1.3 times the distance from the Sun to the Earth). Space Shuttle Endeavour made her way to LA today where she will be displayed at the California Science Center, and the GLXP team was there to witness this historic event.
The GLXP team arrived bright and early at The Proud Bird restaurant near LAX. Where we played a fun game of Bacon pairing, where you pair your favorite food with bacon to make it better. See the example below with cake.
We then played a really exciting new game called #nottheshuttle. Every time a plane flew into LAX through the thick luminous air (read smog) we were sure it was the shuttle approaching to say its one last goodbye, but it was just a normal plane. Finally after hours of waiting, we were able to see the shuttle fly by three times. It was a great moment. Our very own Leo Camacho put it best in an interview with the LA Times (WOW FAMOUS). "It's like your grandfather's old Mustang," said the Azusa resident. "You never got to drive, but you remember it and you know what it's capable of. And it's still as pretty as you remember."
Although the trip to California was pretty special, Endeavour has had many great missions including its maiden voyage STS-49, STS-47 with the first African American woman in space, Mae Jemison, STS-61 was the first Hubble Space Telescope service mission, and 12 International Space Station assembly missions.
The journey to California was not without complications. The original schedule for the ferry flight was intended to start on Monday at Cape Canaveral Florida, continue to Houston where the shuttle would spend two nights, then finally on to California making flyovers along the way. Unfortunately weather delayed the start of transport until Wednesday, leaving only a one night stay in Houston for a Friday delivery to California.
Enterprise who went to New York’s Intrepid Sea-Air-Space museum and Discovery who went to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC underwent similar ferry flights with flyovers along the eastern coast of the United States. The Space Shuttle Atlantis will be staying in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Although it is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to the Space Shuttle era, we look forward to the future and the continued growth of private space operations, including the lunar exploration and science objectives of the Google Lunar X PRIZE teams.
Welcome to your new home Endeavour!