(NBC) - The final flight for Space Shuttle Endeavour began just after sunrise Wednesday, one last mission for the legendary shuttle program, a three-day cross-country farewell tour, honoring the spacecraft and those who played a key role in its success.
After take-off the 747 carrying Endeavour circled the familiar landing strip at Kennedy Space Center, then made one last lap along Florida's Space Coast.
As the journey continued, Endeavour again dipped out of the clouds for fly-overs at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and at the Michoud Assembly Plant in New Orleans before gliding across the horizon in Texas and landing for an overnight stay at Ellington Field, just next door to Johnson Space Center, the home of Mission Control.
Next Endeavour flies across the Mojave Desert, stopping for an overnight stay at Edward's Air Force Base, which served as an alternate landing site during shuttle missions.
Friday the orbiter will finish its trip across California.
It will fly low over Disneyland, Malibu and a host of museums, including its new home the California Science Center.
Endeavour will make the trip from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center in early October.
To clear the route for the drive crews will have to cut down as many as 400 trees.