Next Mission for Shuttle: Retirement at California Science Center | NBC Bay Area

Next Mission for Shuttle: Retirement at California Science Center

The shuttle will be prepared as a museum piece after its final mission



    Space shuttle Endeavour made its final launch Monday before its return to California.

    The shuttle blasted off just before 6 a.m. PT, Monday.

    Science Center: About Endeavour | Live Video: Launch Control

    This will be Endeavour's final mission before it comes to Southern California. The shuttle will spend its retirement years at the California Science Center. It's expected to arrive in a new area at the existing Science Center building next year.

    The Science Center is preparing online with an #Endeavour Twitter feed.

    About a dozen facilities were in the running to land one of the retired shuttles. The shuttle winners were announced April 12.

    As for Monday's launch, Endeavour will be commanded Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

    It's the shuttle's 25th flight. The six-person crew will remain in space for about 14 days as they bring spare parts to the space station.

    After Endeavour lands, it will be prepared as a museum piece. Its flight on the back of a Boeing 747 to Southern California will mark a homecoming -- Endeavour was built at Rockwell International Space Systems facility in Palmdale.

    Atlantis will make the final shuttle flight to the space station this summer.

    Shuttle Atlantis will stay in Florida. Discovery will be at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.