The space shuttle "Endeavour" left Wednesday on his final journey, crossing the United States from east to west (from Florida to California), carried on the fuselage of a Boeing 747.
The takeoff was smooth, a few minutes after the scheduled departure time. Moving the shuttle had been postponed twice already due to bad weather.
The "Endeavour", who flew more than 185 million miles in his two decades of service, completed its final mission last year.
The 747 that leads to the "Endeavour" attached to its fuselage perform several flybys before undertaking their final heading westward. The plane is scheduled to fly over the Stenos Space Center in Mississippi and a factory in Louisiana, where he built several pieces of the shuttle.
In its flight schedule planned to spend the night at the Johnson Space Center in Houston before heading to
California on Thursday morning.
U.S. cities competed for the right to host spacecraft
After spending a few weeks in a United Airlines hangar in Los Angeles, the shuttle will be transferred to the California Space Center where it will remain on display until October 30.
After the U.S. space agency NASA put an end to the three decades of the shuttle program last year, several major U.S. cities competed for the right to host some of these spacecraft.
The "Enterprise", a prototype that never went into space, is on permanent display on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier "Intrepid" in New York.
The Kennedy Space Center will retain the "Atlantis" and the "Discovery" is on display in a museum on the outskirts of Washington.
Two other shuttles were destroyed during their missions. The "Challenger" disintegrated shortly after takeoff in 1986 and the "Columbia" crashed upon re-entry to Earth in 2003. Both incidents claimed the lives of all hands.