Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Godspeed, Endeavour!

This morning, at 7:16 Pacific time, NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) 911, a highly modified Boeing 747-200, lifted off from Edwards' Runway 04 with the Space Shuttle Endeavour bolted securely to her back, on the first leg of the journey to Florida. This part of the trip would end up in El Paso, TX. NASA's Public Affairs Office once again came through, providing a fantastic opportunity for media photographers to record the moment. Before leaving, the pair posed for the classic Mojave "airplane and wind turbine" pose.

Prior to the SCA/Endeavour pair leaving, an Air Force C-17 from Travis AFB left, serving as the "pathfinder" aircraft, scouting out the route for weather issues that would be detrimental to the orbiter's health.

With the almost-winter sun breaching the hills to the east just as the pair taxied, it was one of those serendipitous moments of "me and my shadow".

An Edwards-based NASA F/A-18 served as chase, with a videographer riding of those "ultimate" jobs.

(Again, many thanks to PAO Alan Brown for all his tireless organizational work, and a special thanks to our NASA van driver, Beth! Ya'll set the standard for how all governmental agencies should work!)

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