The space shuttle that flew on NASA's next-to-last shuttle mission made an appearance today in the skies over Tucson as it headed to its final home in California.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour flew over the city about 11:15 a.m.
The Tucson portion of the flight honored former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, a former astronaut who commanded Endeavour's final mission to space in May 2011, said C.J. Karamargin, Giffords' former spokesman, who spoke with Kelly.
Kelly requested the shuttle fly over Tucson, and NASA agreed to the request as a tribute to the couple, Karamargin said.
The shuttle entered Tucson from the east and began its descent to 1,500 feet.
Once it reached that altitude, it flew directly over the University of Arizona Mall.
The shuttle is mounted to the top of NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a 747.
The aircraft arrived here after similar fly overs of White Sands Missile Range and Las Cruces, N.M.
It is heading to the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, according to NASA.
The retired shuttle embarked on a cross-country farewell tour Wednesday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
In October, the Endeavour will move to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will be on display.
Contact reporter Jamar Younger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4115.