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NASA keeps Space Shuttle Endeavour in Brevard one more day

12:20 PM, Sep 17, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Endeavour stays in Florida for one more day


Cape Canaveral, Florida (FL Today) -- Endeavour is ours for one more day.

The forecast of bad weather along the route Endeavour and its ferry flight will take west from the Space Coast caused NASA to postpone the flight 24 hours.

Now, weather permitting, the piggybacking duo is set to take off at sunrise Tuesday on the first leg of the trip to California, where the baby of NASA's shuttle fleet will spend her retirement.

The plan is still to get Endeavour to Los Angeles International Airport by Thursday.

On Sunday, Endeavour and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, backed out of the mate-demate device that bound them together.

"Today, I'm feeling a tremendous amount of pride. We're finally able to show this space shuttle off," said NASA astronaut Kay Hire, who orbited Earth aboard Endeavour 217 times during the STS-130 mission in February 2010 and was at the Shuttle Landing Facility to watch Sunday's operation.

"It's been a great workhorse for us: 25 missions into space. It was such a significant part of building the International Space Station, also carrying science and technology into space. And we get to share that with the world now," Hire said.

When the joined jumbo jet and spaceship take off Tuesday, expected around 7:15 a.m., they're due to fly low over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, down the beaches to Patrick Air Force Base, swing across Pineda Causeway and back up the Indian River before a final farewell pass over the KSC Visitor Complex and Shuttle Landing Facility.

The duo will head west and conduct low flyovers of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the shuttle's booster rockets were made.

The destination Tuesday: Ellington Field near NASA's Johnson Space Center. Wednesday night, the duo are scheduled to reach NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, and then Thursday brings them to Los Angeles.

Endeavour is eventually headed to the California Science Center.

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