Space Shuttle Endeavour is ferried by NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) over Houston. Endeavour was NASA’s fifth and final space shuttle to be built. Construction began on Sept. 28, 1987 and it rolled out of the assembly plant in Palmdale, Calif. in April 1991. It was named after a ship chartered to traverse the South Pacific in 1768 and captained by 18th century explorer James Cook. Endeavour flew 25 times, traveling more than 122,000 miles and accumulating 299 days in space. Like shuttles Discovery, Enterprise and Atlantis, Endeavour is embarking on its next mission – to inspire the next generation of explorers and engineers at the California Science Center.
I have always been a fan of the Space Shuttle program. Space Shuttle made it possible to build the International Space Station. Without the big freight compartment of the Shuttles it would take many more rides to bring those big parts to space. There have been terrible accidents with Space Shuttles. Challenger exploded 73 seconds after lift-off and Columbia burned during re-entry into the atmosphere. Both these disasters delayed the Shuttle program for many years. Resulting in not continuing the program and developing alternatives. Both price and risk were the main reasons.
All the Space Shuttles will be decommissioned and used for museums and education. I think the Houston fly-by is a great homage to the Space Center and all the people that have been working with the Space Shuttles.