Nasa's retired shuttle Endeavor heads west on Monday
FLORIDA (AP) - The baby of National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (Nasa) space shuttle fleet is about to leave home - for good.
At sunrise on Monday, Endeavour will depart Kennedy Space Centre for a museum in California, with a two-day stopover in Houston, home to Mission Control and the astronauts who flew aboard the replacement for the lost shuttle Challenger.
Endeavour is the second of Nasa's three retired shuttles to head to a museum. The youngest shuttle will make the four-day trip to Los Angeles atop a modified jumbo jet, bound for the California Science Centre. Discovery landed at the Smithsonian Institution's display hangar in Virginia last spring. Atlantis will remain at Kennedy.
After taking off from the former shuttle landing strip on Monday morning, Endeavour and its carrier jet will fly low over Kennedy and the beaches of Cape Canaveral, then head west toward Nasa points along the Gulf of Mexico. The pair will swoop over Stennis Space Centre in Mississippi and Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the shuttle booster rockets were made.