September 19th, 2012
11:01 AM ET

NASA's last space shuttle takes off to its retirement home

The space shuttle Endeavour began its final aerial show Wednesday, thrilling spectators across the southern United States.

After a two-day delay because of weather conditions, Endeavour began its cross-country flight Wednesday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Los Angeles, where the now-retired spacecraft will be put on display.

NASA had postponed Endeavour's piggyback trek atop a modified 747 airliner to its retirement home after inclement weather Monday and a poor forecast Tuesday.

The journey is divided into three legs that could be described as scenic routes to showcase the shuttle to the public. It will take three days to complete.

Endeavour, along with Discovery, Enterprise and Atlantis, became museum pieces after NASA ended its 30-year shuttle program on July 21, 2011.

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soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Orville Wright

    A sad day indeed. There are no manned spaceflights presently being planned, and no manned jets for the air force presently in research and development. NASA is now a muslim outreach program, and the airforce is still flying the twenty year old airframes you saw in Top Gun. The US has taken a terrible turn, unless your perspective is a welfare recipient. Then all the money we're redistributing from these programs is great! More food stamps!

    September 19, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Iamrightyouarewrong

      Maybe now they will add smokes and alcohol to things they can buy so they don't have to trade em.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      The warplanes Tom Cruise and company flew in "Top Gun" were F
      -14s which have been out of service for 5 years, as are the A-7s. and S–3As you may have seen on the carrier deck at the end of the film. The only planes the Navy uses today are the E-2 Early warning, and the EA-6 ECMs that flew in the movie...All fighters are F/A-18s still in production! Geez

      September 19, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • saywhat

      A sad day indeed. But let me congratulate the American tax payers today. They have done something tax payers in no other country have ever done. According to the Jerusalem Post yesaterday the Israeli Army Chief Gen.Gabi Asheknazi had this to say speeking on 11th Sept " The American tax payers have contributed more to the Israeli Defense Budget than the Israeli tax payers".
      trillions of dollars on senseless wars and planning for more , dole outs, national treasure almost non-existent and we decry paucity of funds for NASA, infrastructure, education and such.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mickey1313

      Say what, that is a terrable thought, we need to cut ties top the evil of zioniem

      September 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ronvan

    YES, it is a sad day. Watching the 747 carry endeavour is a beautiful sight. NASA has been a great organization. Now they are relegated to history and watching US pay Russia to take OUR astronauts into space. So much for the future!

    September 19, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    GWB ended the program in 2004...sorry, but one can't blame our current POTUS for this one, although I know people will try.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Portland tony

    The Space shuttle has outlived its purpose. As Iconic as the classic '55 Chevy, it's old, unsafe and very expensive to maintain. It's hard to remember what a twenty five year old computer was capable of, but that's what controlled the Shuttle. NASA got a lot going on right now in a very politically charged environment. Let's hope they get some funding and leadership soon!

    September 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Truth

    “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money,” the French philosopher and historian Alexis de Tocqueville once said........

    September 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. OBAMA UNDERSTANDS THE AVERAGE JOE

    I must get on the band wagon on Mitt Rommney, no wonder this guy does not want to disclosed his tax returns; in 2011 he paid 15.9% in taxes & in 2010 he paid 13.9% (after making millions which is fine with me) here is the problem; Rommney paid lower then the average person making $50,000????? maybe that what he was talking about the 47% being dependent on the gov't after paying their taxes????

    I use to be a Romney voter and now I am giving my 47% vote to OBAMA whose party truly understands the AVERAGE JOE, Romney does not have a clue on how an AVERAGE JOE, who had to reached out for gov't assistance for the first time in their lives after losing their position after serving 25 years and no longer making $50,000, to support a family, no beneifts, no steady income, people wake up, this is happening throughout the county and the 47% numbers are due to people like myself out of work and having to ask for aid, vote OBAMA, CLINTON, OBAMA

    September 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Are you spamming? Is that a talking point you cut and paste from media matters? Obama understands that lazy people like free stuff, so he'll confiscate the earnings of real old-school capitalist Americans to re distribute to the new socialist Americans (That would be you).

      September 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aviator

      You seem confused on the difference between Percentages and Dollars. So he paid 13-15%. That could still be taxes paid in MILLIONS of Dollars!
      So you lost your 50k job after 25 yrs. Was that on obama's watch or Romney's? See, you're now voting for Obama. What did the article say?

      September 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    @Tony
    "confiscate the earnings of real old-school capitalist Americans" , " new socialist Americans'?
    My my somebody is touching the fringes of paranoia today.
    Run to your shelters folks, commies are a coming.

    September 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    What Romney said was reprehensilble, and there is a whole thread devoted to it...why post about that here?

    September 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hollywood

    My husband works for NASA and they are saddened and proud of these events.

    September 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      I am angry and delighted to hear such things.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BOMBO ©

    One day when it is slow I will bore all with the story of how I saw the last ever shuttle launch. It's not nearly as spellbinding as my apple bee story, but it's still pretty good.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mickey1313

    Time to play taps for american ingenuity

    September 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. krehator

    The shuttle has not become part of the lazy 47% I guess.

    September 23, 2012 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. ronvan

    WHY is it that SOME cannot focus or READ! GOT to talk about everything except what the actual subject is!!

    September 23, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |