Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Last Journey: Los Angeles, We Have a Problem

14 October 2012

It orbited the earth close to five thousand times, traveling over a hundred million miles in the process. Yet for the Space Shuttle Endeavour the journey to its final resting place at the California Science Center proved a rather more laborious expedition. However, the site of a displaced space shuttle in the middle of Los Angeles is not something you see every day.

 Thousands of people turned out to watch the shuttle’s trip. Yet for many the day ended with disappointment as, due to delays, the shuttle failed to materialize at their place on the route at the allotted time.  Although the 12 mile journey from LAX to the California Science Museum started well, glitches, technical and otherwise, made it run hours behind its schedule by the end of the day.

It may not have been what some were expecting. This was not the sort of gleaming space ship that you see in TV series such as Star Trek.  Yet it is a long time since Endeavour made its debut, glossy and shimmering in the heat of the Mojave Desert back in 1991. It has left our orbit and come back down 25 times each way: all those re-entries are going to discolor the appearance somewhat.

Back on earth, however, the hitches were threefold: the rig which carried the shuttle had to undergo unplanned maintenance, the sides of buildings kept getting in the way and then there were the trees.  Although over four hundred had been removed (which caused some protest) many others could not be cut down, included those planted as a memorial to Martin Luther King Junior.

Image Credit Flickr User Nasa HQ
Image Credit Flickr User Nasa HQ
Image Credit Flickr User MichaelGat
Despite the problems the procession made progress through the streets of LA, with the move crew elaborating when it came to the numerous obstacles in the path of the shuttle.  The weather too, posed a problem to a number of onlookers – several dozen people were treated for the heat.

Image Credit Flickr User Nasa HQ
Image Credit Flickr User cheleguanaco
Image Credit Flickr User oliver ortega vhua
Nonetheless, wherever it went, Endeavour was greeted to cheers by the expectant crowds which had gathered along every mile of the route. In spite of the delays, it seems the good people of Los Angeles judged this to be a fine day for their city.

Image Credit Flickr User yoyovenice
Image Credit Flickr User waltarr
Image Credit Flickr User RobHelfman
Image Credit Flickr User RobHelfman
Image Credit Flickr User Andy Gipetti
Image Credit Flickr User BeFrank
Image Credit Flickr User yoyovenice
Image Credit Flickr User Dacia Mitchell
Image Credit Flickr User BeFrank


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