Space shuttle Endeavour has taken off on its farewell tour across the country.
The third of the retired fleet of four to head off to a retirement home, Endeavour is being ferried from Florida to Los Angeles — with a stop on the way in Houston. It is perched atop a 747.
NASA TV is following Endeavour's journey here. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce previewed the trip Tuesday. As she reported, "along the way, the spaceship will stop off in Houston, home of NASA's Mission Control and, weather permitting, fly over NASA centers and various landmarks in cities that include San Francisco and Sacramento."
In mid-October, it will make a two-day, 1-mile-per-hour trip through city streets to the California Science Center.
Space shuttle Discovery was flown to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in the Northern Virginian suburbs of Washington, D.C., back in April, as we chronicled here. Later that same month, Enterprise was flown to New York City. It is now aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex on the Hudson in Manhattan.
The last shuttle, Atlantis, will "make the shortest trip of all," as Nell reported. "It's staying in Florida, at the visitor center right next door to the Kennedy Space Center."