Photos from the Shuttle Flyby

The crowd at NASA Ames waiting for Endeavour

This morning, we were on hand to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour make a low pass overhead, atop its Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, at NASA Ames Research Center.

As you can see in the panorama above (or at least, as you can see if you zoom in), we were deep in the crowd, out on the tarmac of Moffett Field, surrounded by the tower, Hangar One— presently stripped of its wooden exterior —and far off on the right, the two other blimp hangars.

Shuttle 009

The event organizers apparently hadn’t thought to announce it when the shuttle was getting close, and with the hangars, buildings, and crowd, we couldn’t scan the horizon either.  However, we figured out one way of telling when the shuttle was getting close: When the folks in the control tower started pointing and taking pictures.

The next thing that we saw was a pair of fighter jet escorts. And then, the main attraction:

Shuttle 008Shuttle 007

And what a view!

This modified 747 NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (there are two) has tail number N905NA.  It’s been doing this for a long while— here is a photo from 1978 —but this is one of its final missions.

Shuttle 004

From here, after 25 missions into space, Endeavour moves onto retirement at the California Science Center in LA; perhaps we’ll see it again someday. But, alas, never airborne.

Shuttle Endeavour Bay Area Fly-By

STS-126 Endeavour atop carrier aircraft

The Space Shuttle Endeavour will be passing through the Bay Area on Friday morning, September 21, and the NASA Ames Research Center has invited the public to come watch.

The shuttle is on its way to its new home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will be on display starting in October. It is passing over Mountain View on the way as a tribute to the work that was done there on the shuttle systems, including wind tunnel testing and thermal protection systems design and testing. NASA staff will be manning booths to share information about their contributions to the space shuttle program.

Event details are available on the NASA Ames website. All of the available parking passes have already been given out, so taking public transportation is encouraged. Hearing protection is recommended, as the 747 will be flying at 1,500 feet above the viewing area. We’ll hope to see you (and the space shuttle) there!