Folks here in Tucson, Arizona got a special treat Friday when the 747 carrying the shuttle Endeavour made a low-altitude pass over the city. The flyover was a tribute to injured former Congressman Gabrielle Giffords, whose husband, Mark Kelly , the retired astronaut who commanded Endeavour’s final flight on his last mission in late May 2011.
The flyover was a big deal in Tucson. All the classes at my wife’s school went outside to watch. Here are some photographs sent to me by my friend, Pamela Keyes, author of the young adult hit,
Giffords, still recuperating from a gunshot wound to the head suffered in an attempt on her life last year, watched the flyover from the roof of a Tucson parking garage with her husband and mother. The rest of the city watched from wherever they could.
This was a bittersweet moment. Tucsonans saw a shuttle, but for the last time (unless we go to see Endeavour as a museum exhibit). Even worse good-bye, however, is that I, the science and science fiction nut, didn’t hear about the flyover until too late. Argh!