Houston's Consolation Prize: Space Shuttle Endeavour Gets A Conjugal Visit
A little bit of Houston died last year when Atlantis returned from its final mission and NASA put the breaks on the space shuttle program. The wound was exacerbated by the announcement a few months prior that Houston would not become home to a retired shuttle, but that New York and California would.
Flickr photo by The U.S. Army Endeavour's 2009 mission.
Now NASA wants to put a Band-Aid on that gaping hole by giving you a chance to have one last look at SS Endeavour before she's ferried to her new home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Weather permitting, of course, and that's assuming you can get off work in time to drive down to Ellington Field.
Weather permitting, Endeavour is scheduled to arrive at Ellington at approximately 10:45 a.m. on Monday, September 17. There will be flyovers of both Bush and Hobby airports, downtown Houston, the Ship Channel and San Jacinto monument, Galveston, JSC and Ellington. Thirty minutes after arriving at Ellington, the public may view the vehicle (from 100 feet away) through 7 p.m. On Tuesday, September 18, public viewing opportunities will continue from 8 a.m. through 7 p.m. Endeavour is scheduled to depart Ellington at 7 a.m., Wednesday, September 19.
Endeavour's whistle-stop tour of Houston-area landmarks will take place at an altitude of 1,500 feet, so if you can't make it down to the air field to see her in repose, you can probably get a good view of her in action. Updates on Endeavour's journey from Kennedy Space Center to California will be posted on NASA's website.
NASA will also be updating Twitter with information on the ship's journey using the hashtags #OV105 for Endeavour's orbiter vehicle designation and #SpotTheShuttle. Followers are presumably encouraged to make use of the second one.