Kennedy Space Center to Celebrate Final Flight of Endeavour Sept. 14-17
By James Shillinglaw
August 31, 2012 10:37 PM
Kennedy Space Center will celebrate the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, which will be transported from Florida to Los Angeles, during a special three-day event, Sept. 14-17. The Endeavour was retired from service after 19 years of service, 25 missions, 133 astronauts carried, 299 days in space and 122,883,151 miles traveled. Guests are invited to join the farewell celebration at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
The public will have the opportunity to see Endeavour as it is being prepared for its journey atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) Sept. 14 and 15. Through scheduled Endeavour bus tours, guests will be able to view the orbiter as it is lifted by the mate-demate device (MDD) and placed atop a specially designed Boeing 747 aircraft. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests will receive a lithograph of Endeavour as a keepsake.
There are two opportunities to view the fly-out of Endeavour at approximately 7:30 a.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 17. A limited number of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests will have a front-row seat to witness the departure of Endeavour from the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). Another fly-out viewing option is from the Visitor Complex as the history-setting mission covers the sky above the attraction’s Rocket Garden.
Endeavour celebration events include: On Friday, Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 15, guests can take a special Endeavour bus tour, including a drive-by of the mate-demate device at the SLF with viewing of Endeavour as it is mated to the 747 SCA and drive by of Launch Pad 39-A with the tour culminating at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Viewing and photo opportunities will be available from the bus. The tour price is $20 per adult or $14 per child in addition to regular admission to the Kennedy Space Center.
On Monday, Sept. 17, Kennedy Space Center will offer Endeavour fly-out viewing opportunities. There will be limited availability at the SLF for guests to view takeoff and fly-over of Endeavour. Bus transportation to the SLF will be from 6 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. EDT. The tour price for this up-close opportunity is $40 per person plus admission.
Visitors also can experience the fly-over of Endeavour at 300 feet above the Rocket Garden. Viewing is included in regular admission price. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 6:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 17. Live NASA TV video coverage of Endeavour’s fly-out and commentary will be broadcast in the IMAX Theater at the Kennedy Space Center. Doors will open at 6 a.m. EDT and coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. EDT.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, featuring historic spacecraft and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, open from noon until 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander's Club Annual Pass is $63 plus tax for adults and $53 plus tax for children ages 3-11.