|By PR Newswire||
|September 19, 2012 08:49 PM EDT||
HOUSTON, Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The space shuttle Endeavour atop its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) is scheduled to depart Houston's Ellington Field at about 7 a.m. CDT on Thursday for California.
Departure is planned to the south with low flybys of Clear Lake and NASA's Johnson Space Center expected before the aircraft and shuttle turn northwest for a final pass over Houston heading west.
Public viewing only will be allowed from the permanent fence line at Ellington Field. Only news media and essential personnel will be allowed inside the perimeter fence.
After departing the Houston area, the flight plan includes a low pass over the downtown Austin area near the Texas State Capitol building between 7:30-8 a.m.
A fueling stop is planned at about 8:30 a.m. MDT in El Paso at Biggs Army Air Field. Takeoff from Biggs is planned for about 11 a.m.
After the refueling stop at Biggs, the SCA and Endeavour will make low-level flybys of the White Sands Missile Range and NASA's White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, as well as Tucson, Arizona en route to California. The flyover of Tucson will take place approximately an hour and 15 minutes after departure from Biggs.
Arrival at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base is scheduled for approximately noon PDT.
Following an overnight stay, the SCA and Endeavour will salute the Edwards Air Force Base area early Friday with a low flyby northbound to Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Next the duo will travel south, making a pass over NASA's Ames Research Center, Vandenberg Air Force Base and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory before heading into the Los Angeles area.
Finally, the SCA and Endeavour will land about noon PDT at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), for an arrival ceremony before Endeavour is taken off the 747 and transported to its permanent home at the California Science Center next month.
The exact timing and path of the ferry flight will depend on weather conditions and operational constraints. Some planned flyovers or stopovers could be delayed or canceled.
During the cross-country ferry flight, social media users are encouraged to share their Endeavour sightings using the hashtags #spottheshuttle and #OV105, Endeavour's vehicle designation.
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