Endeavour’s Cross-Country Final Piggyback Ride Arrives at Kennedy

Article written: 13 Sep , 2012
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015

SCA Arrival at KSC on Sept. 11 for Endeavour Ferry Flight to California on Sep. 17. Credit: Ken Kremer

The clock is rapidly ticking down on the final days of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) as the proud home of NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour.

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the modified 747 Jumbo Jet that will ferry shuttle Endeavour piggy-back style cross-country to her new eternal home in California arrived at KSC.

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, or SCA, touched down at the shuttle landing strip at KSC at about 5:05 p.m. EDT. See the gallery of approach and landing photos.

Image Caption: SCA Arrival at KSC on Sept. 11 for Endeavour Ferry Flight to California on Sep. 17. Credit: Ken Kremer

SCA Arrival at KSC on Sept. 11 for Endeavour Ferry Flight to California on Sep. 17. Credit: Ken Kremer

SCA Arrival Photo. Credit: Ken Kremer

The 747 landing marks the start of the process that culminates soon with the final airborne flight of the orbiter in the history of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.

On Friday, Sept. 14 Endeavour will be hauled out of the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for the final time and moved to the Shuttle Landing Facility where she will be hoisted and mated onto the back of the jumbo jet, designated NASA 905.

SCA Arrival Photo. Credit: Jeff Seibert/wiredforspace

SCA Arrival Photo. Credit: Jeff Seibert/wiredforspace

The mated pair are due to take off at first light on Monday, Sept.17 weather permitting on a multi day trip across America before landing in California.

The 747 crew will fly perform multiple, crowd pleasing and low flyovers of the space coast area, the KSC Visitor complex and the beaches – which will give every spectator a thrilling front row seat to this thrilling and bittersweet moment in space history as the shuttle takes flight for the very final time.

Watch for my upcoming tour report taking you inside the SCA Jumbo Jet.

And I will be on-site at KSC providing on-site Endeavour departure coverage for Universe Today readers through the dramatic takeoff on Sept 17.

Ken Kremer


SCA Arrival Photos Credit: Klaus Krueger

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, research scientist, freelance science journalist (KSC area,FL) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calendars including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, FOX, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now, Science and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, NASA Wallops, NASA Michoud/Stennis/Langley and on over 80 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight – www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter

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3 Responses

  1. zkank says

    Unless someone’s maliceously Photoshopped Endeavour out of all the images, do we really need to see eight pictures of just the Jumbo?

    • TerryG says

      These are the last few flights for the SCAs as well. IIRC they will end their days as a source of parts to keep the SOFIA Boeing 747 IR observatory flying.

      It’s great to see the SCAs. They represent a design classic that has been flying for the past forty
      four years and has changed the world for the better.

      Jus’ say’in.

  2. Skipdallas says

    A sad ending to a great endeavor.
    As a person that grew up during our unimaginable spectacular entry into Space exploration, I am profoundly saddened by the lack of direction of our political leaders. Budget cutting twits in the Administration. Short sighted bean counters. sigh and whine.

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