Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Endeavour has landed

Friday, September 21st, saw the arrival of the space shuttle Endeavour at LAX. This was the last of the shuttle delivery flights, and was the final time a shuttle was in the air. The arrival was delayed a day by weather, as the original plan called for a Thursday arrival. After several weeks of preparation, the Endeavour will be transported by surface streets to the California Science Center, where it will go on display at the end of October.

Endeavour was the last of the shuttles, built from spares in the late 1980s to replace the Challenger. Endeavour also flew the next-to-last mission of the shuttle program, STS-134, in May of 2011.

The Endeavour flight passing north of LAX, on downwind for its fly-by over the north runway complex

Lined up for the north side fly-by

After the fly-by on the north side, the Endeavour flight then flew over the city, circling various landmarks and locations instrumental to the shuttle program
Lining up for the fly-by over the south runway complex

After the fly-by, the flight circled back around and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft landed on Runway 25 Right, while the fighter escort flew past (over Runway 25 Left) and departed to the west:


After rolling to the end of the runway, the shuttle carrier taxied to a nearby ramp

Many people turned out to witness the arrival (and final flight) of the Endeavour:

Update:  For more photos, see these entries:  More Shuttle Shots 
                                                              One final set of shuttle shots


  1. Holy Moly CaptainVector...........You've really outdone yourself this time..........!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I can't stop typing exclamation's......;)))))
    Last week I had posted about "Endeavor" piggybacking on her Mother ship.....making a 'low pass' over my, New's there that the "Stennis Space center"..."Michoud Assembly Facility" and where the External fuel tanks were built from 1973- 2010...for the shuttle's!!
    You've got some Awesome shots.....!!!!
    Your pics are so clear and vivid......!!
    Thank so much.....!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Thank you for sharing!

  3. It's a little off topic, but since you have a shot of it I got curious. What is the old control tower used for? I figured there were offices, but is the cab in use at all? Does United use it for ramp control?

  4. Was waiting for this entry, knew it would be amazing!

  5. Great shots indeed, not everyday do u c the 105 freeway in a stand still and people on the edges, and gotta love the people on the scissor lifts. Question, was there a ground stop on the southern runways the moment the Space Shuttle and the SCA landed?

  6. Great pictures CV! Thanks so much for sharing these with us! Were you working the arrival?


  7. Absolutely amazing.
    The end of an era...
    Thanks for the post.

  8. I was wondering what effect this had on traffic at LAX? Do you have to curtail movements?

    Or, did it happen during a relatively quiet time?

  9. Now that would have to be one interesting flight progress strip to see!

  10. We feel so far away here in Australia but your photos of the Endeavor and the mother ship are just the best , feel like I was there. Must have been such a fantastic sight . Thanks so much

  11. If you squint really hard you can see me and 300 of my closest buddies on top of the FWY 105 Parking Structure off Sepulveda. We were at iHop and went in and ran to the 5th floor. Great views and great memories. I am so glad you were in the tower and got some shots! After she did her south flyby she came over Manhattan Beach and flew over Mico and my moms house. Just awesome.

  12. Great shots of a really memorable moment. Well done.

    Perhaps Americans can now feel just a little of what we Brits felt when that other lovely icon - Concorde - came to its last flights.

    It seems so sad when such innovative machines created by man - and in Concorde's case truly by man as there were no computers used to design it simply because they hadn't been commercially developed in the 1970s - and are retired within our own lifetimes without any successor in sight.

    I still miss gazing up at Concorde as it crossed over London looking so beautiful and I am sure that many Americans will feel likewise when they hear of some space exploit that is no longer carried out by the Shuttle.

    You all did a great job - but now it is RIP time!

  13. Old Tower cab is a conference room (and sometimes a popular one)


  14. Well, CaptainVector, You've really gone and done it now.......:)))))

    Your "Awesome" "Endeavor & LAX", Pictures, I just saw on my "Flightaware" newsletter.........after getting my, e-mail alert......!!!!!
    Really,Your pics are so "Vivid"...and just "Stunning"...........!!!

    Like Matthew.....I am curious, about the old 'control tower'and what its used for....As a "Registered', out of control "Aviation Geek"........I want to live there.....Surely that would be 'Heaven on earth'......for the 'likes' of us Geeks...Can you put in a good word..........ha ha..!!!!!!!
    PS..........I DO "WINDOWS".........;)))))


  15. Made the front page of Flightaware, very nice!

    Were you the person talking to Astro 905? I had my scanner on Imperial Hill, and it was quite interesting listening to the tower leading up to the flyby and landing. How was it that I could hear everything the tower said, but never heard a peep out of the NASA pilots, were they broadcasting on a different freq? Your pix are great, let's hear about what was going on in the tower while all this was taking place.


    Check it out if you missed the Endeavor at LAX

  17. Wicked awesome pics. Especially the low passes over the North and South runway complexes. thanks for posting

  18. What a treat you have provided those of us who could not be there. Thank you so much.