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Space Shuttle Endeavour Begins Final Mission

Workers pose for a photograph on the wing of NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, with the space shuttle Endeavour mated on top, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, September 18, 2012.
NASA's retired space shuttle Endeavour has lifted off from its home port of Florida, starting the first leg of a three-day trek to its new mission on the U.S. west coast.

Endeavour is flying Wednesday atop a 747 transporting jet and will end its first portion of travel in Houston, Texas. It will arrive Friday in Los Angeles, California, where it will stay at the airport until the space shuttle travels through urban, public streets for the first time ever on October 12.

About 400 trees have to be removed from a 19-kilometer-long route so the five-story high, 24-meter-wide shuttle can fit through its path from the airport to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

NASA's three surviving shuttles are being displayed across the country. The Kennedy Space Center in Florida will keep the space shuttle Atlantis, and the Discovery space shuttle is on display at a museum just outside Washington, D.C.

Enterprise, the space shuttle prototype that never flew into space, is on display in New York.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.


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