HOUSTON - Thanks to all who paused this week to watch space shuttle Endeavour fly over Houston and the surrounding areas. This was quite a sight and a great tribute to one of NASA's most successful programs. The arrival and display of Endeavour served to honor and thank the thousands of Johnson Space Center employees and citizens of Houston and our many surrounding communities whose support was key to the space shuttles' remarkable accomplishments during three decades of service.
We thank the many employees, volunteers, police and emergency services personnel who helped during Endeavour's stop at Ellington Field. Thank you for your patience and understanding of the challenges of moving thousands of people through the facility to take a look at Endeavour. Our local law enforcement colleagues estimate that between 100,000 and 200,000 people came to the area to see Endeavour. The interest from our Houston neighbors was simply overwhelming. We hope that many of you were able to take photos that will become lifelong keepsakes.
The space shuttle was a workhorse that could launch, retrieve or repair satellites, build a space station and conduct research in orbit. It enabled us to achieve incredible accomplishments in space- opening the final frontier to women, minorities and schoolteachers. This week you witnessed the final ferry flight for the Space Shuttle Program. The modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft you saw was carrying Endeavour to its new home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Endeavour flew 25 missions, spent nearly 300 days in space and traveled 122,883,151 miles.
And human space exploration continues. The International Space Station is a world- class laboratory and exploration test bed. Commercial partners are working with NASA to take cargo and crew to the space station allowing NASA to concentrate on the challenges of deep space travel. Right now, JSC is preparing to flight test the Orion spacecraft which will carry crew beyond Earth's orbit. What we learn as we explore beyond Earth and as we send humans on long-duration missions will benefit us here on Earth.
Below are links to photos and video of Endeavour's visit to Houston. Also, below is a link to information to see the International Space Station flying over our great planet.
Endeavour video over Houston:
JSC Center Director Message:
See the International Space Station:
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Johnson Space Center, Houston