The Final Flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour

I have been fascinated by space craft and space travel since childhood. So it was a hard kick that I gave myself in 2011 when I first learned that the Space Shuttle program had been terminated. I was born in Los Angeles (and begrudgingly still live here), which is not all that far from Edwards AFB, and the shuttles often landed here when the weather was too poor to land in Florida. 30 years of opportunities that I took for granted and assumed would always be there for me. I had prepared to drive out to Edwards AFB for either Thursday’s landing or Friday’s takeoff, but was relieved to learn that I wouldn’t have to drive anywhere: Endeavour was going to be flying over my town, Long Beach, California!

Instead of getting in a car, burning carbon, and fighting hideous Friday traffic in LA, I pedaled to a local destination in a matter of minutes and joined thousands of other patriots and admirers who came to bid Endeavour adieu. The Queen Mary saw it first and let out a horn blast as the shuttle approached Long Beach from the south. The crowd then grew with excitement, applause, and cheers as Endeavour flew by and headed toward LAX just to the north. It was a riveting, powerful, and sad experience all at once. My images wouldn’t get any better from here, so I simply lowered the camera, welled up inside, and said goodbye.

You are visiting the blog of fine art landscape photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website. You can also find Michael on TwitterFacebook, and Google+.

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6 thoughts on “The Final Flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour

  1. Glad you were able to see it, Michael. Like Richard I was able to see it fly by at a distance; it’s funny how in those few moments so many of my own childhood dreams and fascinations with space travel came flooding back. It really is the end of a great era.

  2. Nice pictures, Michael. I was in Mt. View when the Shuttle atop the 747 did a fly-by past the NASA Ames Research Center and must say that it was an awesome sight. Very sad that the program is finally over.

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