Space shuttle Endeavour sits atop the shuttle aircraft carrier, passes above the Austin, Texas, skyline Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. Endeavour is making a final trek across the country to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it will be permanently displayed. (AP Photo/Statesman.com, Ralph Barrera) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The last commander of the space shuttle Endeavour said "That's my spaceship" as it flew over Tucson, Ariz., in honor of him and his wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
The retired shuttle did a loop over the city atop a modified jumbo jet Thursday before continuing its trek west to retirement in a Los Angeles museum.
Giffords and retired astronaut Mark Kelly watched the shuttle pass from the roof of a University of Arizona parking garage.
Kelly says the flyover recalled the memory of landing the shuttle, which he says was challenging because the shuttle doesn't use its engines as it returns to Earth. He says, "It doesn't glide very well."
Former Giffords aide C.J. Karamargin added Giffords was "elated" and started "hooting and hollering" as soon as she saw Endeavour fly over the campus athletic center.