The space shuttle Endeavour will honour the former US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords with a flyover of her Arizona home town on its way to the museum in California where it will be displayed.
The flyover was requested by Ms Giffords' husband, the retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who was the last person to fly the shuttle.
Ms Giffords resigned from Congress this year to focus on her recovery from a shooting attack last year in which six people were killed.
Endeavour left Houston yesterday morning, bolted to the top of a Boeing 747. This is the last such flight as the US ends the shuttle programme in favour of other space exploration efforts.