US space shuttle to honor Giffords with flyover (Update)

Sep 20, 2012 by Ramit Plushnick-masti
In this image provided by NASA the Space Shuttle Endeavour is ferried by NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) over the Kennedy Space Center in the early morning hours of Sept. 19, 2012 as it departs for California. Endeavour and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft are in Houston after leaving Kennedy Space Center Wednesday. The ferry flight continues at dawn Thursday, heading to NASA Dryden, then on to Los Angeles Friday. This is the last flight for a space shuttle. (AP Photo/Robert Markowitz, NASA)

(AP)—The space shuttle Endeavour will honor former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords with a flyover of her Arizona hometown on its way to the California museum where it will be displayed, the U.S. space agency said Thursday.

The flyover was requested by Giffords' husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who was the last person to command an Endeavor mission, said NASA spokeswoman Lisa Malone.

Giffords resigned from Congress earlier this year to focus on her recovery from a gunman's attack last year in which six people were killed.

The flyover gives NASA the chance to recognize Giffords' legacy as a longtime advocate and champion of U.S. spaceflight, Malone said.

The shuttle left Houston on Thursday morning, bolted to the top of a regular jet. This is the last such flight of a space shuttle as the U.S. ends the shuttle program in favor of other space exploration efforts.

Endeavour was scheduled to land Friday in Los Angeles, where next month it will be transported very slowly down city streets to the California Science Center, where it will be on display.

Engineers have been busy planning the safest route for the shuttle's careful transport through Los Angeles so its sensitive outer covering won't be damaged.

Explore further: NASA's reliance on outsourcing launches causes a dilemma for the space agency

0 shares

Related Stories

NASA braces for Giffords, Obama, huge launch crowd

Apr 27, 2011

(AP) -- NASA officials say they're pleased that space shuttle Endeavour's final launch is expected to attract more than a half-million visitors Friday, including President Barack Obama.

NASA chief: Giffords welcome at husband's launch

Feb 15, 2011

(AP) -- NASA's chief says it would be tremendous for the space shuttle crew and the nation if Rep. Gabrielle Giffords can watch her astronaut husband launch from Cape Canaveral in April.

Kelly: Giffords cleared to attend shuttle launch

Apr 25, 2011

(AP) -- NASA astronaut Mark Kelly says doctors have given his wife, Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, approval to travel to Cape Canaveral this week to watch him fly into space Friday on the next-to-last ...

Recommended for you

Crash test assesses plane emergency locator transmitters

Jul 03, 2015

The Cessna 172 airplane dangled 82 feet in the air – looking almost like it was coming in for a landing, except for the cables attaching it to a huge gantry at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, ...

NASA image: Curiosity's stars and stripes

Jul 03, 2015

This view of the American flag medallion on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 44th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

El_Nose
not rated yet Sep 20, 2012
Its not honoring the congresswoman -- its honoring Mark Kelly the last commander of the Endeavour. who happens to be married to the congresswoman.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.