CONSUMMATUM EST ENDEAVOUR
Vista: Endeavour, mounted on a 747, flies over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday afternoon
Downtown: The shuttle flies over central Los Angeles on its final voyage in the skies above the U.S.
Spotted: Endeavour and the shuttle that carries it as seen through the palm trees of Venice Beach
Landmark: The shuttle flying over the Golden Gate Bridge across the San Francisco Bay
Skyline: The shuttle seen against downtown Los Angeles, accompanied by two smaller jets for protection
Fans: Hundreds of people gathered on the Huntington Beach Piet to watch the arrival of Endeavour
Matthew Montgomery took a break from his work as a legislative aide and brought his 2-year-old son, Tavion, to see Endeavour airborne.
'I was going to leave him in daycare but thought this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal,' said Montgomery, whose aunt was an engineer on the early Apollo missions.
After circling Sacramento, Endeavour veered toward the San Francisco Bay area, swooping over the Golden Gate Bridge as throngs snapped pictures on their cellphones and shared on social media sites.
Next up: Los Angeles-area landmarks including the Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Sign and Disneyland.
At the Griffith Observatory, overlooking the Hollywood Sign, a crowd of people — many dressed in shorts and flip-flops with kids in tow — camped out on beach chairs and blankets on the lush lawns, waiting for a flyover later in Endeavour's journey.
The nearly 5-hour air show will culminate with an afternoon landing at the Los Angeles International Airport for an arrival ceremony — then, in a few weeks, a slow-speed journey across town through neighborhoods to its final museum home.
Touchdown: Endeavour lands at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday evening
Rolling out the red carpet: Officials and crew walk out of the plane on arrival at LAX
What a view! The Endeavour makes a spectacular final trip, soaring over the Golden Gate Bridge
What a way to end! Endeavour cruises over the Hollywood sign as it nears the end of its final journey
An so it ends: The famed craft touches down at Los Angeles International Airport
Soaring: Space Shuttle Endeavour passes over San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge
A perfect day to fly: There was barely a cloud in the sky as Endeavour cruised over San Francisco
Since Endeavour will buzz by some of the Golden State's most iconic sights, law enforcement and transportation authorities warned motorists not to 'gawk and drive.'
'We want people to take in this majestic show,' Los Angeles police Cmdr. Scott Kroeber said earlier this week. 'But if you're driving, please drive and don't try to take in the show simultaneously.'
Extra officers will be on duty along the freeways near the airport to make sure traffic flows smoothly as the shuttle zooms overhead.
Endeavour returned to its birthplace Thursday after an emotional cross-country ferry flight that made a special flyover of Tucson, Ariz., to honor its last commander, Mark Kelly, and his wife, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Giffords, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, was 'hooting and hollering' as Endeavour looped around her hometown, according to her former aide C.J. Karamargin.
NASA's shuttle fleet, which retired last year after three decades of flight, was assembled in Palmdale near Edwards Air Force Base. The military outpost 100 miles north of Los Angeles served as the original shuttle landing strip and remained a backup site in case of stormy weather at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
'We're so excited to be welcoming Endeavour home in grand style with these flyovers,' Jeffrey Rudolph, president of the California Science Center, said earlier this week.
Last hurrah: Endeavour begins its final journey flying over Sacramento, California on Friday
Anticipation: Hundreds of spectators wait for Endeavour to arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport, in El Segundo, California
Poised: Amateur photographers set up their cameras in preparation of the shuttle flying over in San Francisco
Stunning: The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies on the back of a 747 over The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco en route to Los Angeles International Airport
A sight to behold: Endeavour flies low over the Esquire Building and past the California state Capitol in Sacramento
Cruise control: Endeavour glides effortlessly toward its final stop
The youngest shuttle, Endeavour replaced Challenger, which blew up during liftoff in 1986. NASA lost another shuttle, Columbia, in 2003 when it disintegrated during re-entry. Fourteen astronauts were killed.
During 25 missions, Endeavour spent 299 days in space and orbited Earth nearly 4,700 times, racking up 123 million miles.
In its maiden flight in 1992, a trio of spacewalking astronauts grabbed a stranded communications satellite in for repair. It also flew the first repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope to fix a faulty mirror. But most of its flights ferried cargo and equipment to the International Space Station, which is near completion.
Under White House orders to explore beyond low-Earth orbit, NASA is hitching rides on Russian rockets to the orbiting laboratory until private companies can provide regular service.
Endeavour is the second of three remaining shuttles to head to its retirement home. In April, Discovery arrived at the Smithsonian Institution's hangar in Virginia. Atlantis, which closed out the shuttle program, will stay in Florida where it will be towed a short distance to the Kennedy Space Center's visitor center in the fall.
Endeavour will remain at an airport hangar for several weeks as crews ready the shuttle for its own road trip. Unlike Atlantis, it will creep through city streets to the California Science Center near downtown.
Some 400 trees will be cleared along the 12-mile route to make room, a move that has riled some residents in affected neighborhoods. Museum officials have pledged to replant double the number of chopped trees.
Taking in the sights: Endeavour flies over Coit Tower in San Francisco
And now we wait: Media personnel and eager onlookers started setting up as early as 6am
On top of the world: Businessmen wait atop the tallest building in Los Angeles for the arrival of Endeavour
Is it a bird, is it a plane? Onlookers gather on a beach to watch Endeavour's passing
Picturesque: Endeavour is framed by two palm trees as it cruises over Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
Fancy seeing you here! Endeavour passes near parasailers in Santa Monica
Close encounter: Spectators gather as Endeavour makes its way in for landing
Countdown: The Space Shuttle Endeavour does a flyby of Los Angeles International Airport as it nears the end of its voyage
Tourist attraction: Spectators clamor to catch a final glimpse of Endeavour as it prepares for landing
In awe: Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, watch the Space Shuttle Endeavor fly over Tucson on Thursday