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The space shuttle Endeavour flies over the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.
Photos courtesy of Pacific Park/Brandon Wise
The space shuttle Endeavour flies over the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.

News, Santa Monica, Pier

News Update

Photos Of Space Shuttle Endeavour During Its Santa Monica Flyover

The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies over the Santa Monica Pier piggybacked on a Boeing 747 just before noon.
Photo by Roger Morante
The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies over the Santa Monica Pier piggybacked on a Boeing 747 just before noon.
This photo was taken atop the Fairmont Miramar where about 70 guests gathered and enjoyed coffee, tea, and lemonade while they waited patiently for the arrival of Endeavour.
Courtesy Of Sterling Tyler Photography
This photo was taken atop the Fairmont Miramar where about 70 guests gathered and enjoyed coffee, tea, and lemonade while they waited patiently for the arrival of Endeavour.
Another snap of Endeavour from the rooftop of the Fairmont Mirarmar.
Sterling Tyler Photography
Another snap of Endeavour from the rooftop of the Fairmont Mirarmar.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies over Santa Monica piggybacked on a 747 around noon escorted by a T-38 Talon jet.
Photo by Roger Morante
The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies over Santa Monica piggybacked on a 747 around noon escorted by a T-38 Talon jet.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies over Santa Monica.
Photo by Roger Morante
The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies over Santa Monica.
Ten-year resident of Santa Monica and amateur sports photographer Andy Preikschat snapped the photo at the pier.
Photo by Andy Preikschat
Ten-year resident of Santa Monica and amateur sports photographer Andy Preikschat snapped the photo at the pier.
Another shot of the pier as it goes past the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park.
Photo by Andy Preikschat
Another shot of the pier as it goes past the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park.

Posted Sep. 21, 2012, 5:31 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

Updated Friday, Sept 21 - 1:20 p.m.

Space Shuttle Endeavour thrilled people on the ground in Santa Monica as it flew over the city by the sea just before noon today flanked by two T-38 Talon jets.

It was flying at about 1500 feet while bolted on top of a Boeing 747.

Endeavour landed at LAX for the final time at 12:51 p.m.

Before its landing, it flew over the Getty Center, Hollywood Sign, Universal Studios Hollywood, the Rose Bowl, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena before flying to Disneyland and back to Long Beach before landing at LAX.

Endeavour arrived into California on Thursday and spent the night at Edwards Air Force Base. It departed the base this morning at 8:17 a.m. and headed first to Sacramento and San Francisco before flying south to Los Angeles.

Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek series, recruited astronaut candidates for NASA from the late 1970s to the late 1980s.

She spoke just after 1 p.m. at the arrival ceremony at LAX.

"The Space Shuttle Endeavour has flown 25 missions with 154 astronauts, traveled more than 123 million miles, transported the first American segment of the international space station, repaired the Hubbel Space Telescope, and enabled hundreds of wonderful experiments," Nichols said.

"This is especially meaningful to me and my work with NASA over the years supporting their efforts to increase diversity in the space program. I had the privilege of recruiting the first women and minority astronauts for the space program."

Michael “Mike” Fincke was on board Endeavour’s last mission on STS-134 from May 11 to June 1 last year as a mission specialist.

He told Fox11 News this morning “it’s an amazing day.”

“The whole city is unified with this electric purpose to welcome Endeavour home and I’m so thrilled to be part of it and I’m overwhelmed by the hospitality," Fincke said.

He said one of his most amazing sights he’s ever had was seeing earth from Endeavour.

"I’m a planetary scientist and I like looking at other planets, until I saw earth from space and I fell in love," he said. "We have the most beautiful planet, so many different colors, so many different shapes, it’s just amazing."

He talked about the experience of living on board the space shuttle.

"The most important, amazing thing when you’re in space is that you can fly," he said. "We all dream about being Superman or Iron Man or something like that, well you can actually be that way in space. You feel normal, but you can fly everywhere and it doesn’t get old."

Cranes will lift Endeavour off the Boeing 747 later today and the shuttle will be put on a special carrying device so it can weave the streets of LA to the California Science Center on Oct. 12 and 13.

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Comments

Sep. 21, 2012, 6:12:19 am

Rartin Mubin said...

I wonder how the anti-airport groups felt about that noisy, dangerous shuttle flyover? They should be out protesting right now because they hate all flying things over their homes. Oh wait, they're really just real estate developers who want to grab airport land so they don't care about the shuttle. I think it was awesome to see!

Sep. 21, 2012, 2:46:22 pm

kilrea said...

Noisy: Yes, for maybe 5 minutes, as opposed to 24/7. Dangerous: I don't think so ~

Sep. 24, 2012, 4:08:26 am

Rachel said...

...I was being facetious! I love taking my kids to Santa Monica airport to watch the planes land. The shuttle flyover was great!

Sep. 23, 2012, 5:41:29 am

Rachel said...

5 minutes too long I say! No more aircraft over Santa Monica. We must stop all aircraft from flying over our homes. NO FLY ZONE for Santa Monica now. Think of the children!

Sep. 23, 2012, 5:58:33 am

stewart said...

How apropos to do a fly by @ SMO where aviation history was made! (Much hair pulling and gnashing of teeth by aviation haters here cursing the amazing spectacle taking place in the skies over their heads!)

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