Welcome Space Shuttle Endeavour
In August I heard through some friends that NASA would be inviting a group of people involved in social media to Edwards AFB to welcome space shuttle Endeavour to California for the last leg of its journey to LAX. In order to take part there would be a kind of lottery or raffle. I filled out the form online, clicked send and then basically forgot about it. A few weeks later I received the confirmation email from NASA Social that I had been chosen for the event! There would only be 40 of us chosen from over 2000 entries.
I had been to Edwards once before, in April, 1981 for STS 1, the first landing of a space shuttle on its return from space. That was Columbia and that day has always been one of the exciting high points in life. So getting to see Endeavour and the last ferry flight of a shuttle feels like I have come full circle with the shuttle program. This time, however, I would be getting much closer to the shuttle then that day when I was part of the public viewing area a lonnnng way away from the runway.
The 747 carrier aircraft with Endeavour ridding piggyback was originally scheduled for arrival in California on Wednesday, September 19th. Unfortunately there was some weather systems in the southeast that prevented the ferry flight from leaving Florida on time. The NASA Social team decided we would continue with our original schedule for the NASASocial meet up at Edwards. We would all get to spend Wednesday learning what NASA does at Dryden Flight Research and then see the landing on Thursday. If our plans allowed, we were invited to come back on Friday to watch the take off.
It was an amazing 3 days of getting behind-the -scenes views at Dryden, standing a stones throw from the runway for the arrival and departure and of course making lots of new friends with fellow space geeks. These were some of the most amazing public days I’ve had since the Navy brought me and a seven other bloggers for a ride under the waves on the USS Hampton.
Here’s a slideshow: