Houston, Texas isn't in the best mood today. After all, around sunrise this morning "Space City" lost what it should have kept: the NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour, which departed for the last time from Houston's Ellington Field, en route to its final resting place in Los Angeles. The Endeavour first hit the sky in 1992, flying 25 times, with 123 million miles in space and 4,700 circles around Earth.
It won't be a direct flight to LA for the Endeavour, atop its modified Boeing 747 carrier plane; it's booked to stop at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, before heading to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California. Then, tomorrow, the journey in the skies completes at LAX Airport before the shuttle takes to the streets in October.
Above, the AP caught air-to-air video of the takeoff (sadly without sound?!), but you can relive the glory of the Endeavour via these air-to-air shots of the shuttle's final space mission, from May 2011.
LA is one of four cities that get to keep real Space Shuttles, the others being NYC (Enterprise), Washington DC (Discovery) and Cape Canaveral (Atlantis). Houston, despite being home to the astronaut training and the Johnson Space Center, will only be rewarded for their part in the Space Program with a replica shuttle which once called Florida's Kennedy Space Center home.
To catch the final ride of the Endeavour, you'll have to hit Los Angeles streets on October 12.