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Endeavour Lands at LAX

 

Today southern California was treated to a spectacular hour of flybys, passes and buzzes by none other than the space shuttle Endeavour atop its Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) followed by two F/A-18 chase planes.  Arriving in the neighborhood around 11:50AM, the shuttle followed this flight path and reported wheels down at 12:51PM:

 

Thank you KOST FM!

 

There were many people who found the same spot I did, on the top level of an airport parking structure just south of LAX with a great view of the SCA’s assigned runway:

 

A healthy crowd gathered to watch the landing.

 

We saw it first as it flew east from the ocean:

 

At this time, it turned around and made a fantastic and low buzz of LAX:

 

 

It’s big!  The convoy made two passes in about three minutes total.  Here they are as they thrust away from the airport area on their way to Griffith Park and JPL:

 

 

The SCA and chase planes took about 50 minutes to tour the sites listed on the flight plan above, paying special attention to those areas influential in the design and construction of the spacecraft.  Once completed, they made a third pass over LAX before landing:

 

 

By this time the crowd assembled was cheering and having a great time.  We had many opportunities to watch the convoy fly by.  The pilot of the SCA took a long loop around the aerospace corridor of Los Angeles, flying over such aerospace industry giants as SpaceX at Hawthorne Airport, Boeing’s campus, and Northrup Gruman’s Campus.  There were quite a few people on the roofs of these buildings, soaking in the California sun and the warm sight of their fifth orbiter receiving a hero’s welcome as it lands in its home town.

 

 

 

Now it was time to land this big bird.  At 12:51pm, the SCA touched down to a roar from thousands gathered at LAX:

 

 

The SCA, carrying Endeavour, and one of the chase planes move past onlookers stopped on either shoulder of both directions of the 105 Freeway.

 

All in all, an amazing experience to witness.  Tune in later for Endeavour’s journey to the California Science Center on the streets of Los Angeles, starting October 12th!  Following is a short video taken from the chase plane’s perspective as the SCA flies over several LA landmarks:

 

 

Thank you NASA!

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One Response

  1. C-Rud says:

    Fantastic site, Erik!! This page about Endeavour is more concise and informative than what you would find on TV or in the newspaper. I love it so much that I shared it with my family.

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