NASA's Space Shuttle Museum Flights: Complete Coverage
Space shuttle Endeavour, atop its Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, takes off on NASA's last-ever ferry flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sept. 19, 2012. Endeavour is headed for Los Angeles, Calif., to be put on public display at the California Science Center.
Credit: collectSPACE.com/Robert Z. Pearlman

The final chapter is about to close on NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.

The agency's three remaining space-flown orbiters — Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis — each made their last flights in 2011, and are now being prepped for retired life in museums. Discovery has been gifted to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., while Endeavour is bound for the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Atlantis is due to stay close to home at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Additionally, the prototype orbiter Enterprise, which never flew to space, moved to New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Enterprise previously resided at the Smithsonian.

UPDATE for 11:45 a.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 21

Space shuttle Endeavour has made its last takeoff from Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California and is now heading for its aerial tour of Californai, including low flyovers of Sacramento, San Fracisco and much of the Los Angeles area. It will be placed on public display next month at the city's California Science Center.

Full Story: Space Shuttle Endeavour Leaves Houston on Last Journey West

If you are in California, you may be able to watch Endeavour during today's low flyovers. Details here: How to Watch Space Shuttle Endeavour's Ferry Flight

Video: Endeavour's Final Take-Off: California Bound

Photo Gallery: Photos: Shuttle Endeavour's California Sightseeing Tour

 

Below is SPACE.com's complete coverage of the space shuttle fleet's transfer to museums:

Multimedia

How NASA Flies Space Shuttles on 747 Jets (Photos)
A step-by-step look at how NASA moves its giant space shuttles across the country atop rejiggered Boeing jets. 

Final Voyage of Space Shuttle Enterprise: Photos
Pictures of the prototype orbiter's last flight, a piggyback ride from Washington, D.C. to New York City on April 27, 2012. 

Discovery's Last Flight - Shuttle Heads to Smithsonian

Vote Now! What's Your Favorite Space Shuttle?
Cast your ballot for Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, or Endeavour!

End of the Space Shuttle Ferry Era - Final Flights | Video
A pair of retrofitted jumbo 747's carried the orbiters cross country on many occasions. With the retirement of the space shuttle program, they'll make their final deliveries of Discovery, Endeavour and Enterprise to their new museum homes.

Where to See America's Greatest Spaceships (Infographic)
Much of the space program's history is on display at museums across the United States. See where you can find some of the most iconic U.S. spacecraft that ever flew.

  • Space.com
  • Yes - The shuttles served out a long career, and their time had come.
  • No - The shuttles still had life left in them.
  • Not sure - They were getting old, but now we\'re left with nothing.

Shuttle Ferry Flight Coverage:

Friday, Sept. 12

Shuttle Endeavour Takes Off on Historic California Sightseeing Flight

Photos: Shuttle Endeavour's California Sightseeing Tour

Space Shuttle Endeavour Soars Over California Today: How to See It

Thursday, Sept. 20

Endeavor Departs Houston To Fly Over Austin

Space Shuttle Endeavour Leaves Houston on Last Journey West

Wednesday, Sept. 19

Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands in Houston During Final Ferry Flight

Space Shuttle Endeavour Departs Florida on Final Ferry Flight

Space Shuttle Endeavour Makes Final Ferry Flight from KSC: Photos

How to Watch Space Shuttle Endeavour's Ferry Flight Online Today

Tuesday, Sept. 18

Endeavour and 747 Mated - Time-Lapse Video

Space Shuttle Endeavour's Los Angeles Landing Delayed to Friday Monday, Sept. 17

Shuttle Endeavour Set for Final Ferry Flight Wednesday, If Weather Allows
Foul weather has delayed Endeavour's ferry flight to California by two days, to Wednesday, (Sept. 18).

Endeavour Preparing For New Mission Of Inspiration
The space shuttle Endeavour completes final preparations for its trip to the California Science Center where it will begin a new career inspiring visitors to the wonder of space exploration.

Media representatives are given the opportunity to photograph space shuttle Endeavour, secured atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft or SCA, at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday (Sept. 16, 2012).  The SCA, a modified 747 jetliner, will fly Endeavour to Los Angeles where it will be placed on public display at the California Science Center.
Media representatives are given the opportunity to photograph space shuttle Endeavour, secured atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft or SCA, at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday (Sept. 16, 2012). The SCA, a modified 747 jetliner, will fly Endeavour to Los Angeles where it will be placed on public display at the California Science Center.
Credit: NASA/Charisse Nahser

Sunday, Sept. 16

Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Flight to Calif. Delayed by Weather

Saturday, Sept. 15

Space Shuttle Endeavour Mounted on 747 Jumbo Jet for Flight to L.A.

Photos: Shuttle Endeavour Set for California Ferry Flight

Friday, Sept. 14

Toyota Truck to Tow Shuttle Endeavour to Calif. Exhibit Home

Tuesday, Sept. 11

NASA Jumbo Jet Arrives in Fla. for Final Space Shuttle Ferry Flight

Friday, Sept. 7

NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour to Depart on Cross-Country Flight for Display

Thursday, Sept. 6

Space Shuttle Exhibit Homes Topple Trees, Top Out Building

The Space Shuttle may be the most complicated machine ever built. The first spacecraft to be reusable, it launches as a rocket, can serve as an orbiting platform and lands like a plane. Test your knowledge of the shuttle and its history with this quiz.
Shuttle Atlantis launch
0 of 10 questions complete
Quiz: The Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle may be the most complicated machine ever built. The first spacecraft to be reusable, it launches as a rocket, can serve as an orbiting platform and lands like a plane. Test your knowledge of the shuttle and its history with this quiz.
Shuttle Atlantis launch
0 of questions complete

Thursday, August 30

Space Shuttle Boosters Complete Cross-Country Trip for Museum Display

Friday, August 24

NASA Jets, Tickets Taking Off for Space Shuttle's Flight to L.A.

Thursday, August 23

NASA Space Shuttle Trainer Lands at US Air Force Museum

Thursday, August. 16

NASA Space Shuttles Meet Nose-to-Nose for Final Time

Houston's Hidden Space Shuttle Opening to Public Tours

NASA's space shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis switched locations August 16, 2012, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and in the process came "nose-to-nose" for the last time in front of Orbiter Processing Facility 3.
NASA's space shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis switched locations August 16, 2012, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and in the process came "nose-to-nose" for the last time in front of Orbiter Processing Facility 3.
Credit: NASA

Wednesday, August 8

Space Shuttle Road Trip: California Science Center Reveals Route

Thursday, July 19

Boldly Go: Space Shuttle Enterprise Opens to Public at NYC Museum

Space Shuttle Enterprise NYC Exhibit - Sneak Peek (Video )

Photos: Space Shuttle Enterprise on Display in NYC

Space Shuttle Enterprise Wows New Yorkers at Intrepid Museum

First Look: Space Shuttle Enterprise Exhibit Opening in NYC

Wednesday, July 18

Space Shuttle Enterprise Makes NYC Museum Debut Thursday

Friday, July 13

Original 1972 Space Shuttle Mockup Moved for Display

Wednesday, July 11

Calif. Science Center Lines Up Hangars for Space Shuttle Endeavour

Thursday, July 5

Space Shuttle Enterprise Exhibit Opens July 19 at NYC's Intrepid

Sunday, July 1

NASA Space Shuttle Trainer Lands at Seattle's Museum of Flight

Wednesday, June 27

Space Shuttle Trainer Lifts Off for Seattle on NASA Aircraft

Monday, June 25

Original 1972 Space Shuttle Mockup Going on Display

Thursday, June 21

Space Shuttle Enterprise Encased in Inflatable Shelter at NYC Museum

Atop a barge on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, the space shuttle Enterprise was towed on the Hudson River past the Statue of Liberty on its way to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, where it will be permanently displayed.
Atop a barge on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, the space shuttle Enterprise was towed on the Hudson River past the Statue of Liberty on its way to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, where it will be permanently displayed.
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Wednesday, June 6

Huge Crowds Welcome Shuttle Enterprise to NYC Museum

Space Shuttle Enterprise's Sea Trek to NYC Museum: Photos

Shuttle Enterprise Sea Voyage To NYC: Video

Space Shuttle Enterprise Lands at New York City's Intrepid Museum

Space Shuttle Enterprise Embarks for NYC Intrepid Museum Today

Monday, June 4

Space Shuttle Enterprise Damaged at Sea as Weather Delays NYC Intrepid Trip

Space Shuttle at Sea: Enterprise Sails for NYC's Intrepid

Sunday, June 3

Shuttle Replica Takes Sunday Drive to Space Center Houston

Saturday, June 2

Space Shuttles Move Through NYC and Houston Sunday: How to Watch

 

The barge transporting the high-fidelity space shuttle model began its journey from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Space Center Houston, Johnson Space Center's visitor center in Texas, on May 24, 2012
The barge transporting the high-fidelity space shuttle model began its journey from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Space Center Houston, Johnson Space Center's visitor center in Texas, on May 24, 2012
Credit: NASA/Jim Grossman

Friday, June 1

 

Space Shuttle Replica Docks in Houston Lake, Launches 'Shuttlebration'

Space Shuttle Replica is 'Go' for Docking in Houston Lake

Space Shuttle Enterprise Ready for River Ride to NYC Intrepid Museum

Thursday, May 24

Space Shuttle Replica Sets Sail for Houston

Tuesday, May 22

California Science Center Names New Wing for Space Shuttle Endeavour

Sunday, May 13

Space Shuttle Enterprise Hoisted Off Jumbo Jet in New York City

Friday, May 11

Endeavour Unplugged: NASA Powers Down its Last Space Shuttle

Thursday, May 10

Sponsor-a-Shuttle: Museums Offer Tiles, Stars for Space Shuttle Display Funds

Space Shuttle Replica to Make Houston 'Landing' June 1

Friday, April 27

Space Shuttle Enterprise's Historic Flyover Wows New Yorkers
Hundreds of space shuttle fans braved the chilly temperatures and biting wind Friday morning (April 27) along the Hudson River here to catch a glimpse of NASA's prototype orbiter as it flew past the museum it will soon call home. 
 

Leonard Nimoy to Shuttle Enterprise: 'Live Long and Prosper' in NYC
Science fiction met fact with a "Star Trek" twist here today (April 27) when the space shuttle Enterprise, named in honor of the starship from the beloved television show, came face-to-face with Spock — Leonard Nimoy, that is. 

Final Flight: Space Shuttle Enterprise Over NYC
Riding atop NASA's modified Boeing 747 carrier aircraft, NASA’s drop-test article – the not quite an Orbiter Enterprise – flew to the New York area on April 27, 2012. It's final home: the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum.

Space Shuttle Enterprise Lands in NYC for Museum Display   
NASA's prototype space shuttle Enterprise is now a New Yorker. It's bound for the Manhattan's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

Space Shuttle Enterprise Takes Off for NYC on Final Flight   
NASA's prototype space shuttle Enterprise took off on its final flight today — a piggyback trip aboard a jumbo jet to New York City.

Space Shuttle Enterprise's New Keeper: Q&A With Intrepid Museum Curator
New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is gearing up to welcome the space shuttle Enterprise to its permanent collection this summer. SPACE.com caught up with the new keeper of Enterprise - the Intrepid's Eric Boehm, curator of aviation - to talk about the museum's plans for its new addition.

Space Shuttle Enterprise to Fly to NYC Today
NASA's prototype shuttle orbiter Enterprise, which had been on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum since 2003, is set to fly to the Big Apple today (April 27). 

Thursday, April 26

How Nerds Named NASA's Space Shuttle Enterprise
The naming of the space shuttle Enterprise involves one of the funniest presidential orders of all time. 

Space Shuttle & Skycrapers: How to See NASA's Enterprise Fly Over NYC  
NASA's prototype space shuttle Enterprise is set to fly into New York City on Friday. Here's how to see the shuttle soar over the Big Apple.

Tuesday, April 24

Prototype Space Shuttle Enterprise Now Aims for Friday NYC Landing
Grounded for more than 25 years as a museum display, the space shuttle Enterprise will need to wait just a few more days before taking to the air for one last flight. 

Monday, April 23

Space Shuttle Enterprise's NYC Arrival Reset for Wednesday
The countdown for space shuttle Enterprise's touchdown in New York is back on 

NASA's Prototype Space Shuttle Enterprise Heads to NYC This Week
Residents of the Big Apple may catch sight of an unusual sight over their famous skyline this week: a NASA space shuttle riding atop a jumbo jet. 

Friday, April 20

Space Shuttle Enterprise's NYC Delivery Delayed By Weather Concerns
Space shuttle Enterprise's jet flight from Washington, D.C., to New York has gone from "on time" to "delayed."

NYC-Bound Space Shuttle Prototype Enterprise Reunited with Carrier Aircraft
NASA's original prototype space shuttle was reunited Friday (April 20) with the jumbo jet that first ferried it for a series of important test flights in the late 1970s.

NASA's Next Space Shuttle Move: Enterprise Heads for NYC
With NASA's space shuttle Discovery now successfully installed in the Smithsonian, the space agency's next shuttle move on the horizon falls to Enterprise.

Thursday, April 19

Space Shuttle Discovery Gets Astronaut Sendoff at Smithsonian
When space shuttle Discovery began its new mission as a museum relic, it wasn't alone. More than two dozen astronauts helped usher the storied space plane into its new role as a Smithsonian exhibit.

Space Shuttle Discovery Enters Smithsonian for Museum Display
NASA officially delivered the space shuttle Discovery, its longest serving crewed spacecraft, to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on Thursday (April 19) during a public ceremony to hand over the iconic winged spacecraft.

The space shuttle Discovery is suspended from a sling held by two cranes shortly after the NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) was pushed back from underneath at Washington Dulles International Airport.
The space shuttle Discovery is suspended from a sling held by two cranes shortly after the NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) was pushed back from underneath at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Wallpaper: Space Shuttle Discovery Is Demated

Space Shuttle Discovery, NASA's Workhorse Orbiter, to Join Smithsonian Today  
NASA's most traveled spacecraft, the space shuttle Discovery, is set to become a museum artifact today when it rolls into the Smithsonian. 

Space Shuttle Discovery: 5 Surprising Facts About NASA's Oldest Orbiter
The space shuttle Discovery is going on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum just outside Washington, D.C., this week after taking one last flight atop its a modified Boeing 747 jet from  NASA's Florida spaceport on Tuesday (April 17). 

Delivering and Displaying the Space Shuttles
See more updates from SPACE.com partner collectSPACE.com, dedicated to space history and memorabilia coverage 

Wednesday, April 18

10 Cool Facts About NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery
NASA's space shuttle Discovery is the world's most traveled winged spaceship and the oldest in the U.S. fleet.

Crane Ballet to Hoist Space Shuttle Discovery from Carrier Plane 
The space shuttle Discovery will be hoisted off its ferry plane today (April 18) in a complicated ballet of cranes. 

Tuesday, April 17

Space Shuttle Discovery Lands in Washington D.C. for Smithsonian Display
Space shuttle Discovery, NASA's fleet leader and the world's most flown spacecraft, lifted off for the last time on Tuesday (April 17) to be delivered to the Smithsonian for its permanent display.

Photos: Space Shuttle Discovery's Final Voyage (to Museum )
See photos of space shuttle Discovery's final flight to the National Air and Space Museum's annex hangar in Chantilly, Va.

Space Shuttle Discovery Takes Off on Final Flight to the Smithsonian  
Space shuttle Discovery, NASA's fleet leader and the world's most flown spacecraft, lifted off for the last time on Tuesday (April 17) to be delivered to the Smithsonian for its permanent display.  

Space Shuttle Discovery to Take Last-Ever Flight Today
The space shuttle Discovery will take to the skies one more time today (April 17), but not on the power of its own engines.

Space Shuttle Discovery Takes Final Flight This Week ... to Smithsonian
NASA's most-flown space plane — will take one last flight this week, but will never leave the planet again. The shuttle's final mission is a piggyback ride atop a jumbo jet so Discovery can take its place as a space icon at the Smithsonian Institution.

Spot the Shuttle: How to See Discovery on Final Flight to the Smithsonian
Space shuttle Discovery will take to the air on Tuesday morning (April 17), flying piggyback atop a NASA jumbo jet from Florida to Washington, D.C. to be delivered to the Smithsonian for display. Those along its flight path are in store for low passes, historic flybys and overall, quite the sky show.

Space Shuttle Viewing Locations List:

NASA Map for Best Viewing Locations
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/nasalife/features/discovery_dc_viewing.html

National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
http://airandspace.si.edu/discovery

Dulles International Airport
http://www.mwaa.com/dulles/4827.htm

Reagan National Airport
http://www.metwashairports.com/reagan/reagan.htm

Sunday, April 15

Space Shuttle Discovery Mounted Atop Jumbo Jet for Ride to Smithsonian
NASA mounted space shuttle Discovery on a jumbo jet Sunday (April 15), in preparation for the retired orbiter's delivery to the Smithsonian. The paired air- and spacecraft are expected to depart Florida for Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning (April 17), weather permitting.

Saturday, April 14

Winds Delay Space Shuttle Discovery's Lift Atop Smithsonian-Bound Jet
NASA's scheduled pairing of the space shuttle Discovery with its jetliner ride to the Smithsonian was postponed on Saturday afternoon (April 14) after wind gusts prevented workers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida from safely hoisting the retired spacecraft atop the modified-Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA).

Space Shuttle Museum Delivery Flights Get 'Final Mission' Patch
It may not be heading back into space and its crew members aren't astronauts, but space shuttle Discovery's final flight has its own mission patch.

Friday, April 13

How NASA Moves Space Shuttles: The Ultimate Piggyback Ride
NASA's space shuttles are gearing up to make their final voyages — this time flying piggyback a special Boeing 747 jet on the way to museum retirement homes.

Now Boarding: Inside NASA's Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
Space shuttle Discovery's ride to retirement, NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), has come a long way since it first took to the air in the 1970s as an American Airlines passenger jumbo jet.

Tuesday, April 10

NASA Jumbo Jet Arrives to Ferry Shuttle Discovery to Smithsonian
Space shuttle Discovery's chartered ride to retirement has arrived.

Monday, April 2

Two NASA Space Shuttles Head to New Homes This Month
A retired NASA space shuttle and an early prototype for the winged spacecraft will make their final big journeys this month, traveling to the cities that house their museum retirement homes.

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Smithsonian Announces Celebration to Welcome Space Shuttle Discovery
The world's most flown spacecraft will be welcomed by the Smithsonian Institution during a four-day public festival.

Tuesday, Jan. 31

Documenting Discovery: NASA, Archivists Work to Record Space Shuttles' History
While the Smithsonian gets ready to receive the retired space shuttle Discovery for display this spring, NASA, together with archivists spread across four states, is preparing to preserve the historic orbiter and its sister ships digitally and on paper.

Story Archive:

NASA Chose Right Museums for Retired Space Shuttles, Report Finds
NASA's selection of display locations for retired space shuttles in California, Florida, New York and Virginia was implemented fairly and without improper influence, federal investigators reported Aug. 25.

Houston Has Problem with NASA's Choices of Space Shuttle Homes
The crowd of schoolchildren, tourists and museum workers exploded in cheers yesterday when they learned New York will be the final home of NASA's prototype space shuttle, Enterprise. But not everyone is so happy.

NASA Gives Space Shuttles to Smithsonian and Museums in Calif., Florida and NYC
NASA unveiled the final flight plans for its three retiring space shuttles on Tuesday, assigning two to museums in Washington, DC and California, and keeping the third at its launch and landing site in Florida. A fourth, prototype orbiter will also go to a new home in New York.

NASA Chief's Big Decision: Where Should the Space Shuttles Retire?
All of the space shuttle orbiters will be sent to museums in places with historical ties to spaceflight, NASA chief Charles Bolden said Monday (April 11).

More Resources

NASA's Space Shuttle – From Top to Bottom (Infographic)

Thirty Years of NASA Space Shuttle Missions

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