Thursday, September 20, 2012

Endeavour Fly By

So yesterday the giant NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft transported Endeavour from Kennedy Space Center to Houston, on it's way to the orbiter's new home in California.  Like most of my coworkers, I spent a good hour of my morning camped out on the top of our parking garage waiting for our view of the fly-by loops that the plane was taking over the JSC area at a low altitude of approximately 1500 feet.  The electrical wires circling the property ruined most of my shots, although there were a couple of spectacular overhead fly-by's that I was able get incredible close up shots of (see above!).  It was great to see one of my vehicles again, though the circumstances were a bit sad and I'll admit to tearing up a bit...
My friend L was watching from Ellington Field, the airport where the shuttle carrier and convoy landed for the day, and where they were available for viewing to the public.  Her son got the great shot above.  Due to some very poor time management on my part, I was unfortunately unable to make it out to Ellington to see Endeavour up close, but some of my coworker's did.  One even took a bunch of TPS pictures for me!
While I'm definitely bummed I didn't get to see Endeavour up close, I did get the incredible privilege of working on the orbiters for 7 fantastic years, where I saw them daily and in their prime, so I really can't complain too much.  NASA (and some of my NASA friends) have been posting some more fantastic footage of Endeavour's flight to it's new LA home, here are a few of the insanely awesome shots:
Endeavour leaving its home at Kennedy Space Center for the last time.
The Houston loops/fly by.
And Endeavour flying over Austin early this morning.  A friend in Arizona also spotted the vehicle on it's Tuscon fly by.  Endeavour will be parking near it's original build site at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert for the night before taking off tomorrow morning on a low altitude tour of the coast of California.  So all of my friends out in Cali, check out the NASA website for times and keep your eyes skyward for one of the most incredible sites you will ever see!
And for this week's Increasing the Awesome video, I give you Endeavour back in her glory days when she was a fully functional, space bound rocket ship!  Here is the video of Endeavour's very last flight...

And if you're in a nostalgic shuttle mood, like me, you can also check out this cool time lapse video of Endeavour being mated to the top of the 747.

(pictures taken by me, Leilani, Dan, and NASA.  The final 3 can be found on NASA's facebook page)

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