Space shuttle Endeavour takes flight over Berkeley

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Tony Zhou/Staff

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The space shuttle Endeavour took off for one last trip as it flew over the skies of Berkeley Friday morning in anticipation of its permanent installation at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Strapped to a Boeing 747, the shuttle flew into the Bay Area at approximately 10:15 a.m. and made two passes over the Golden Gate Bridge before making its way down into Southern California.

Students and staff on campus craned their necks skyward, hoping to catch a glimpse of the shuttle, while some crowded the roofs of buildings like Evans and McCone halls.

UC Berkeley junior and mechanical engineering student Ben Butler traveled with his housemates up to Grizzly Peak in order to get a better view of the passing shuttle.

“I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see a space shuttle on the back of a 747, flying 1,500 feet above Berkeley,” he said. “It was cool and very unique. Seeing something that was 30 years in the making is a pretty big deal — it’s not your everyday plane.”

NASA said the Northern California flyover was meant to commemorate the contributions that the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley has made to the Space Shuttle program, according to a NASA press release.

In service since 1992, the space shuttle Endeavour flew its last mission on May 16, 2011, after president George W. Bush announced the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2004.

Contact Andy Nguyen at [email protected].

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  • Guest

    In Los Angeles they are chopping down 400 full grown trees that line the route to the museum simply because the museum director did hot want to take the wings off and then reattach them. I guess we know see why……..
    The museum offered misinformation stating that only 54 of the trees were large trees and the rest were small trees fifteen feet or less. Then it turns out their full definition of a small tree is A)less than fifteen in height or B)less than a twelve inch diameter trunk at breast height. Since there essentially are no fifteen foot tall trees with a trunk greater than twelve inches at breast height, the first part of the definition was only included to deceive the public, by not mentioning the full definition. By their actual definition of a small tree – less than a twelve inch diameter trunk at breast height – all the large street trees on the block I reside in Berkeley are small trees, small trees that are probably over a half century old and around forty feet high.