Space shuttle Endeavour lands piggyback in California
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, California (REUTERS) - The space shuttle Endeavour, carried piggyback atop a jumbo jet, landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Thursday at the tail end of a cross-country trip to Los Angeles to begin its final mission as a museum exhibit.
The specially modified Boeing 747 with the newly retired spaceship perched on its back touched down safely at 12.50pm local time (3.50am Singapore time) at Edwards, about 160km north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert.
Nasa retired its shuttle fleet last year after completing the United States (US) portion of the US$100 billion (S$122 billion) International Space Station, a permanently staffed research complex that is owned by 15 nations and orbits about 400km above Earth.
Endeavour embarked on its last cross-county "ferry" journey on Wednesday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and made several low-altitude passes over Nasa centers in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas before stopping for the night at Ellington Field near the Johnson Space Center in Houston.