It was bound to happen sooner or later. Today, as you read this now, a representative from BASA, Bernal’s very own space agency, is visiting a facility operated by NASA, that *other* space agency you may have heard about.
Specifically, your Bernalwood editor is spending a few days at NASA’s Dryden Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California. BASA is here at NASA’s invitation to watch Space Shuttle Endeavor arrive on the back of it’s specially modified Boeing 747 carrier aircraft, which is scheduled to happen tomorrow. If the past is any guide, it should look something like this:
But the thing is, this is not only the last time a space shuttle will fly on the back of a 747; It’s the very last time a shuttle will fly at all. Ever. Endeavor is headed to its permanent home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, and it’s the last of the retired shuttle fleet to require transportation via 747.
But before that happens, there will be adventure. Early Friday morning, NASA’s special 747 will take off from Edwards. From there it will fly north, to the Bay Area, for a scenic low-and-slow flight over Silicon Valley and the City of San Francisco. (PRO TIPS: NASA tells us the shuttle flight should arrive over San Francisco between 9 and 10 am on Friday morning. Bayfront vantage points between the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown will probably be best, but the view may be pretty good from Bernal Hill with binoculars. Please take photos!)
And then that’s it. Forever. Maybe you will live long enough to see another Transit of Venus from Bernal Hill. But you will never, ever see another space shuttle flying over Our Faire City — or anywhere else. Sad but true.
Keep an eye on the @bernalwood Twitter account for updates and announcements on the Shuttle overflight. Viva BASA! Thank you, NASA!