Watched the Space Shuttle Endeavour Fly Over San Francisco (265/366)

265EndeavourTop“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
~ Neil Armstrong

The space shuttle Endeavour is one of the only three surviving space shuttles used in the United States’ space program, and the last to be retired.  Today, in this leg of its final flight, it was taken on a victory lap around Northern California – including the state capitol in Sacramento, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and a landing at Moffet Airfield in Mountain View before heading to its new home in LA – where it will eventually be displayed for all to visit and learn about at the California Science Center.

Not being one of the few people lucky enough to witness a shuttle launch (or even see a space shuttle) in person yet, I was so excited to not only see this historical marvel, but to get a chance to view it as it flew across my city, and from my own balcony!

While there were crowds packed in at the Golden Gate Bridge, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the view from our house.  People were gathering up at Twin Peaks too:
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Unfortunately, the day wasn’t as clear as I’d hoped, but it wasn’t horrible.  I camped out on the balcony and waited.
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Finally a little blip appeared in the distance … it took me a while to be sure it was the shuttle, but it was!  It first came into view and traveled along the coast, passing by Mission Dolores.
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It sailed through the sky and over AT&T Park:
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Over the Coca~Cola sign and toward the Bay Bridge …
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Here it is passing the Rincon Tower eyesore …
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And even buzzed the Transamerica Building.  Ha!  Just kidding – I’m sure it wasn’t *that* close.  But pretty cool – this was the first time I realized I could even see the top of the Pyramid from the house!
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It made another pass around, and that time I took video – but it’s actually pretty boring (and it was really hard to keep it in view and in focus) so I’ll spare you from it.  But here are some fantastic screenshots from NASA’s live feed of all the excitement during the flight.

Cruising along
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Making its stop at Moffet Airfield
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Taking off for one last time
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There she goes!
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My view might not have been as up close and personal as many others’, but this was an awesome experience.  The sight was still breathtaking, and I’ll never forget it.

Related Links:
Space Shuttle Endeavour on Wikipedia
California Science Center

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