The C-9 Pathfinder takes off first. As the name implies, the Pathfinder's role is to find routes of safe passage through weather systems.
C9PathfinderNASAShuttle Landing FacilityKennedy Space Center
With Endeavour on its back, the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft begins to taxi towards the North end of the runway.
Shuttle Landing FacilitySpace Shuttle EndeavourNASA747Shuttle Carrier AircraftNASA 905N905NAKennedy Space Center
While the 747 waits at the end of the runway, the T-38 chase plane takes off next.
NASA's T-38 fleet has been used by astronauts to fly between Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center for shuttle missions.
Shuttle Landing FacilityT38NASAKennedy Space Center
With the T-38 (left) and C-9 (right) formed up in the skies, the 747 begins its takeoff roll.
The 747 and Endeavour on takeoff roll.
Takeoff. Space Shuttle Endeavour begins her final journey as seen in this remote camera view from the South end of the runway.
Once in the air, the duo takes a tour around area landmarks, including Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Cocoa Beach, the KSC Visitor Complex, and the Vehicle Assembly Building (pictured).
Shuttle Landing FacilityNASASpace Shuttle Endeavour747Shuttle Carrier AircraftNASA 905N905NAKennedy Space Center
The pair returns to the Shuttle Landing Facility for one final, low pass across the runway.
Endeavour bids the historic spaceport farewell and heads West. Only one sister ship, Atlantis, will remain at Kennedy Space Center.
Photos & Design © 2009-2019 Michael Deep