Kelly, Giffords watch Endeavour fly over Ariz.

September 20, 2012 by Paul Davenport
Space shuttle Endeavour sits atop the shuttle aircraft carrier, passes above the Austin, Texas, skyline Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. Endeavour is making a final trek across the country to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will be permanently displayed. (AP Photo/, Ralph Barrera)

(AP)—The last commander of the space shuttle Endeavour said "That's my spaceship" as it flew over Tucson, Ariz., in honor of him and his wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The retired shuttle did a loop over the city atop a modified jumbo jet Thursday before continuing its trek west to retirement in a Los Angeles museum.

Giffords and retired astronaut watched the shuttle pass from the roof of a University of Arizona parking garage.

Kelly says the flyover recalled the memory of landing the shuttle, which he says was challenging because the shuttle doesn't use its engines as it returns to Earth. He says, "It doesn't glide very well."

Former Giffords aide C.J. Karamargin added Giffords was "elated" and started "hooting and hollering" as soon as she saw Endeavour fly over the campus athletic center.

Explore further: Giffords' astronaut husband awaiting doctors' OK


Related Stories

Kelly: Giffords cleared to attend shuttle launch

April 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 shuttle ...

US space shuttle to honor Giffords with flyover (Update)

September 20, 2012

(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.

Recommended for you

Earth might have hairy dark matter

November 23, 2015

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought. A new study publishing this week in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, proposes the existence of ...

Scientists detect stellar streams around Magellanic Clouds

November 23, 2015

(—Astronomers from the University of Cambridge, U.K., have detected a number of narrow streams and diffuse debris clouds around two nearby irregular dwarf galaxies called the Magellanic Clouds. The research also ...


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.