Yesterday we got up at 5 a.m. to see the space shuttle Endeavour make its final flight on the back of a jumbo jet. It was kind of a sad moment. I grew up with the shuttle program and it really seems an end of an era to watch it fly one last time…
Endeavour completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles.
When we arrived at NASA Ames, it was still dark. News crews clustered around the entrance, ready to report the historic event.
We watched the sun rise.
Otter and I got to see Hanger One without its skin. Hanger One used to house dirigibles in the 1930’s. Here’s a picture of it when it housed the USS Macon:
Here it is today without the skin. The government stripped it off because of PCB’s, lead and asbestos in the covering.
While waiting for the shuttle to fly over, we looked at several exhibits and listened to speeches by NASA employees and astronaut Steve Robinson. Astronaut Karol “Bo” Bobko was also present in the audience.
Otter (on the left) checks out some space shuttle tires. They are super thick and hard! We went around and collected brochures & programs. Otter also managed to score a small piece of a meteorite!
We weren’t the only ones to show up. An estimated 20,000 others stood packed on the runway waiting… Apparently lots of parents pulled their kids out of school to attend the event. For us though, this was school!
After hours of waiting, around 10:30 a.m. the shuttle appeared flying over Hanger One as the crowd cheered.
We watched in awe. It almost didn’t seem real. My husband captured this shot as it roared overhead.
Here’s some footage of the event and the fly-by. I’m so glad I was able to share this moment with my son and husband. We were able to witness a little sliver of history and it was amazing.