The space shuttle Endeavour atop its 747 shuttle carrier aircraft flies over the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, during the final portion of its tour of California, September 21, 2012. Endeavour touched down in Los Angeles on Friday on the back of a jumbo jet, greeted by cheering crowds as it ended a celebratory final flight en route to its retirement home at a Southern California science museum. The 75-ton winged spaceship, ferried by a modified Boeing 747, landed at Los Angeles International Airport after hop-scotching across the country from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and flying a victory lap over California. Endeavour will next undergo preparations to be moved through city streets to the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles, where it will be put on display starting October 30. (Photo : Reuters)
The space shuttle Endeavour spent its first night at a United Airlines hanger at Los Angeles International Airport last night as it waits to begin a two-day trek towards its new home at the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Display Pavilion. According to the Los Angeles Times, the shuttle will begin that trip on October 12.
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The last leg of Endeavour’s journey will take shuttle down the streets of Inglewood, Calif. and Los Angeles and is being billed almost like a parade, the Los Angeles Times said. The shuttle arrived in Los Angeles on Friday and was welcomed to the tune of “Fanfare for the Common Man.”
Jeffrey N. Rudolph, the president of the science center, said, “Welcome Endeavour. Welcome to California.” According to the Los Angeles Times, ‘Star Trek’ actress Nichelle Nichols hosted the welcoming ceremony.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, “This is a great day for the city and the region. It is an honor and privilege to welcome home this crown jewel of the space fleet.”
The 21-year-old space shuttle, which was carried by a Boeing 747 from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, drew gasps from the crowd as it arrived, the LA Times reported.
Garrett Reisman, an astronaut who first flew on the Endeavour in 2008, said having the shuttle close to home is exciting. “I can take my son to see my spaceship,” he told the LA Times. “That will be very cool. …He’ll grow up with Endeavour in his backyard.” Reisman, who left NASA over a year ago, now works for SpaceX.
To prepare for Endeavour’s two-day trip, officials have had to cut down hundreds of trees and remove lights from streets, the Times reported. According to the report, Endeavour will travel from Manchester Boulevard to Crenshaw Drive, then to Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard until reaching its new home in Exposition Park.
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