The last flight of the space shuttle Endeavour before retiring to the museum (Pictures)
September 22, 2012
The space shuttle Endeavour took a long walk in the top of a jumbo jet; the couple departed from Edwards Air Force Base, 100 miles north of Los Angeles, around the desert that led to the shuttle fleet before heading North California.
The Endeavour was on the air for almost five hours culminating with a landing at Los Angeles International Airport and within a few weeks, will make his final journey to their future home, the museum.
The Endeavour replaced the Challenger that exploded during takeoff in 1986. NASA lost another shuttle, the Columbia in 2003, when it disintegrated during reentry. Fourteen astronauts died.
For 25 missions, Endeavour spent 299 days in space and orbited Earth nearly 4,700 times, accumulating 123 million miles.
In its first flight in 1992, a trio of astronauts grabbed a communications satellite for repair. It also flew in the first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope by a faulty mirror. But most of its flights transported cargo and equipment to the International Space Station.