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Endeavour Heads to New Home in California

5:27 PM, Sep 20, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Space shuttle Endeavour leaves Houston

Photo Courtesy: AP

RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI
Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - The space shuttle Endeavour took off atop a modified transport plane from Houston today on its journey to retirement in Southern California, where it will be put on permanent display in a museum.

Endeavour, atop a modified jumbo jet, left Thursday morning after a one-day stop at the home of NASA's Mission Control.

The retired shuttle took off Wednesday from its old home in Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

In mid-October, Endeavour will be transported down city streets to the California Science Center.

This is the last flight for a space shuttle.

The plane transporting the Endeavor flew over Tucson, Arizona to honor former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Giffords husband, Mark Kelly was the last commander of the space shuttle Endeavour.  He said "That's my spaceship" as it flew over.

The retired shuttle did a loop over the city atop a modified jumbo jet Thursday before continuing its trek west to retirement in a Los Angeles museum.

Giffords and retired astronaut Kelly watched the shuttle pass from the roof of a University of Arizona parking garage.

Kelly says the flyover recalled the memory of landing the shuttle, which he says was challenging because the shuttle doesn't use its engines as it returns to Earth. He says, "It doesn't glide very well."

Former Giffords aide C.J. Karamargin added Giffords was "elated" and started "hooting and hollering" as soon as she saw Endeavour fly over the campus athletic center.

Houston's bid for one of the retired shuttles was rejected, and it has instead received a replica.

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