Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012
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.
(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)