WATCH: Space Shuttle Endeavour Soars Over Los Angeles

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Just before landing at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday to begin its final journey into retirement, the space shuttle Endeavour glided majestically over southern California, touring the sights and offering city residents a thrilling view.

Piggybacked on a Boeing 747 jumbo jet, the spacecraft soared over the Hollywood Hills, the skyscrapers of downtown L.A., City Hall, and in a particularly photo-worthy moment, past the iconic white Hollywood sign.

(PHOTOS: Unprecedented Image of Space Shuttle Released)

En route to Los Angeles, Endeavour’s aerial tour zigzagged over California — from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to Sacramento, the state capital. Thousands of people across the state gathered to skygaze and snap photos. The above video, captured by NASA, shows Endeavour on the last leg of its airborne tour, eventually touching down safely on the LAX tarmac around 1 p.m. on Sept. 21.

From the airport, Endeavour will travel 12 miles on surface streets, through the heart of Los Angeles, to its final home, the California Science Center. The shuttle is expected to be rolled out of the airport on Oct. 12.

Over the course of its two decades in service, Endeavour completed 25 missions. It orbited Earth nearly 4,700 times and spent a total of 299 days in space. The shuttle also flew the first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope and made several trips to the International Space Station to provide cargo and equipment.

MORE: When the Space Shuttle Buzzed New York City: How Did They Do That?

2 comments
pbuh
pbuh

What a shame (and not to mention terrible planning) to have to chop down all those trees just to make way for a one-time trip for a hunk of space junk to rest in mothballs at some museum.  Why not just land the damn thing directly from the sky at another musuem that is accessible?  It's made tons of journeys around the globe, for crying out loud.  I just don't get all this bleary-eyed romanticism for an oversized recreational vehicle that happened to be in low earth orbit.  Geez.