Space shuttle Endeavour buzzes over the bay

After traveling 122.88 million miles on 25 missions to space, the space shuttle Endeavor traveled through California today on a fairwell tour to the delight of thousands of people who came out for the low-altitude flyby.

Leaving from Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California this morning, the modified 747 -- with Endeavour bolted to its back -- headed north to Sacramento, and then west towards San Francisco where it made two passes around the bay.

At NASA Ames Reseach Center in Mountain View, Calif., an estimated 20,000 people came out and for a viewing on NASA's home turf, where astronauts and engineers who had worked on Endeavor over the years were on hand to give personal accounts of their time with the shuttle.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Hangar 1 flyby at Ames

NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with Endeavour securely mounted on top is seen passing by Hangar 1 at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Looking skyward

A visitor to NASA Ames Research Center snaps a photo of the immense crowd that gathered to watch the shuttle pass overhead.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Crowd of 20,000

NASA estimates that 15,000 people came out to Ames see the shuttle off on Friday.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

And it's gone

The shuttle came in low at NASA Ames, just a few hundred feet off the ground. It came into view only at the last second from behind Hangar 1, and then it was gone.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Flying into history

The shuttle and its carrier can be seen in the distance to the left of the control tower at NASA Ames Research Center as it leaves following a low flyby of the airfield in Mountain View, Calif.

At around 1 p.m. (PT) Friday, the shuttle landed at Los Angeles International Airport where it will be taken off the 747 and transported to its permanent home at the California Science Center next month.
Updated:
Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Turning over the San Francisco Bay

Space shuttle Endeavour makes a turn over the San Francisco Bay Friday during its farewell tour of California.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Marin headlands

The SCA-Endeavour combo lifted off Edwards' Runway 04R at about 8:17 a.m. PT this morning. It began its California tour with low-level flyovers of the communities of Palmdale, Lancaster, Rosamond, California City, and Mojave before heading north to Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Here we see the shuttle above the Marin headlands just north of San Francisco.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Shuttle and the Golden Gate Bridge

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with Endeavour aboard passed by the Golden Gate Bridge Friday.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Endeavour fly-by

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with Endeavour aboard passed by the Golden Gate Bridge Friday.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Endeavour over the Bay

Space shuttle Endeavour over the San Francisco Bay Friday.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Endeavour over the Bay

Space shuttle Endeavour over the San Francisco Bay Friday.
Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide

Tablets that put your TV to shame

Binge-watch your favorite episodes on these portable screens.

Hot Products