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The Space Shuttle Endeavor's Final Voyage


The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From Reuters:

(Reuters) - The space shuttle Endeavour, bolted to the top of a jumbo jet, took off on Friday from Edwards Air Force Base for a last airborne victory lap over California en route to its final frontier and retirement home: a science museum in Los Angeles.

Riding piggyback on a modified Boeing 747, the 75-ton winged spaceship departed at 8:17 a.m. (1517 GMT) on the final leg of its cross-country trip that began on Wednesday in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The departure was delayed by about an hour due to early-morning fog over the San Francisco Bay area.

The Boeing 747 with the shuttle took off into clear blue skies and circled back for a flyover over Edwards as spectators snapped pictures of Endeavour aloft one last time.

In San Francisco, office workers and tourists crowded the city's waterfront to catch a glimpse of the Shuttle as it flew over San Francisco Bay.

"There's a lot of nostalgia," said Anthony Falzone, a 40-year-old lawyer. "When I was a kid, Apollo was long gone, and this was the space program, this was my experience with manned spaceflight."

After making low-altitude passes over some of California's best-known landmarks, including Disneyland, the Hollywood sign and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Endeavour and its carrier jet are expected to land at Los Angeles International Airport at about 12:45 p.m. (1945 GMT).

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