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.
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.
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.