Endeavour’s final journey
Follow along as the space shuttle Endeavour makes its final trip, marking the end of NASA’s shuttle program. The journey began this week in Florida and will end in October after an ultra-slow-motion, 12-mile crawl through Inglewood and Los Angeles to the California Science Center.
Shuttle detached from 747
NASA officials completed the delicate task Saturday of removing space shuttle Endeavour from the back of a modified Boeing 747 after its tour of California.
The elaborate operation began late Friday night, according to NASA, as cranes gently lowered a giant 37,000-pound yellow sling that was used to lift the 78-ton shuttle from the airplane.
Retired orbiter lands at LAX
Space shuttle Endeavour has touched down at LAX, marking its final landing after a three-decade career in space and bringing an end to NASA’s space shuttle program.
As elsewhere along its choreographed flyover in California, eager fans of the shuttle — filled with both curiosity and nostalgia — gathered at the United Airlines hangar to watch the Endeavour taxi in. A man holding an American flag popped out of the roof of the cockpit of the 747 carrying Endeavour on its back.
Crowd watches shuttle’s final landing
People stand along Aviation Blvd. as the space shuttle Endeavour lands at LAX for the last time on Friday.
Shuttle-watchers snap photos at Hollywood sign
Shuttle fans spot the space shuttle Endeavour as it flies over Griffith Park Observatory and the Hollywood Hills Friday.
Kids go wild as shuttle flies over Science Center
Kids waited anxiously in the playground, holding sketches of the Endeavour and waiting to color in the final details. They sat in circles with their classes, looking at the sky and saying over and over ‘when is the Endeavour coming?’
When it finally came into sight, hundreds of students jumped up and ran toward it, pointing and screaming. Most were at a loss for words, saying over and over ‘that was so cool’ and ‘did you see it? Did you see it?’
Students make paper planes while awaiting shuttle
Eduardo Garcia, age 10, left, Michael Mireles, age 10, center, and Dennis Ramos, age 9, right, make paper airplanes as they learn about the mathematics, science, and creativity that went into making the shuttle Endeavour and the plane it flies on top of, in their fifth grade classroom at the California Science Center School. Later in the day, the space shuttle Endeavour will fly over their school.
Shuttle passes over Santa Barbara, Ventura
#spottheshuttle Endeavour over downtown Santa Barbara! pic.twitter.com/s2tYImLs— Kristine Pacheco (@KPviolin ) September 21, 2012
The space shuttle Endeavour move through the Central Coast of California and over Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as it began its entrance to L.A. County.
Watch live as the shuttle enters L.A. airspace
Join the Times’ William Hennigan and Scott Gold at 11:30 a.m. for a live discussion with Marco Caceres, senior analyst and director of space studies at aerospace defense industry consultant Teal Group, and Ron Garan, a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force and NASA astronaut who flew on the Endeavour and lived on the International Space Station. The shuttle will tour landmarks around the Southland before landing at LAX.
Eager Angelenos wait at Griffith Observatory
LA resident Edgar Herrera holds up grandson Grant Herrera, 3, as they wait for a glimpse of the space shuttle Endeavour at Griffith Park Observatory. The shuttle is scheduled to land at LAX Friday afternoon after flyovers of Southland landmarks.
Picture perfect at the Golden Gate
The space shuttle Endeavour flew over a sunny San Francisco, gliding over the cranes at the Port of Oakland, the glittering waters of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Endeavour, riding atop a 747, passed the Golden Gate Bridge twice, thrilling crowds of pedestrians and bicyclists on the bridge’s sidewalk. A crowd of adults and children had their cellphones and snapshot cameras aimed at the skies when Endeavour appeared as a dot, coming in from the southeast about 10:15 a.m.
Shuttle flies over Sacramento
More: Endeavour flies over the Capitol grounds
Space Shuttle Endeavor over the California state Capitol #spottheshuttle pic.twitter.com/I1RK89A8— Blake Ellington (@BlakeEllington ) September 20, 2012
As the space shuttle Endeavour lifted off Friday, the final flight attracted the tweets of excited Californians across the state. From Palmdele, the craft made its first appearance over Sacramento.
Endeavour departs, heads to Sacramento, S.F.
The space shuttle Endeavour has departed on its final flight, leaving Edwards Air Force Base for its farewell tour over California.
NASA delays takeoff because of Bay Area fog
NASA officials are postponing the takeoff of the space shuttle Endeavour by one hour Friday morning because of fog in San Francisco.
The new schedule calls for Endeavour to take off from Edwards Air Force Base in northern Los Angeles County at 8:15 a.m. instead of 7:15 a.m. That would mean Endeavour would fly over the Capitol in Sacramento at about 9:30 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m., before flying over San Francisco and Monterey.
‘Space geeks’ welcome shuttle to California
With shouts of happiness and “Here she is!”, a group of hand-picked NASA fans and self-described “space geeks” welcome the space shuttle Endeavour to California’s Edwards Air Force Base on Thursday afternoon. The shuttle departed from Houston on Thursday shortly after 6 a.m. PDT, made a refueling stop in El Paso, and then performed low-pass flyovers of New Mexico and Arizona before arriving at Edwards Air Force Base.
Gabrielle Giffords honored with Tucson flyover
Gabby and I watching Space Shuttle Endeavour over Tucson today. pic.twitter.com/L7Fdev2x— Mark Kelly (@ShuttleCDRKelly) September 20, 2012
The retired orbiter flies over Tucson on Thursday to honor former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was gravely injured in a 2011 shooting at an event in her district that killed six others. Giffords’ husband is retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who commanded Endeavour’s final mission last year.
Shuttle lands in Houston
The space shuttle Endeavour landed safely Wednesday morning at Houston’s Ellington Field, where Texans got a glimpse of the massive artifact before it embarked on its final journey to California.
Endeavour leaves Florida
Perched atop a modified Boeing 747, the retired orbiter departs Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4:22 a.m. EDT Wednesday en route to Houston, the first leg of a two-day trek to California.
Center gets final OK to cut trees in space shuttle’s path
The California Science Center receives final approval to chop down trees to make room for the space shuttle Endeavour as it rolls through the streets of Los Angeles. Nearly 400 trees will be cut down in Inglewood and South Los Angeles in the 12-mile route between LAX and the shuttle’s permanent home in Exposition Park. (Of those, 119 are in South Los Angeles, 124 are in Westchester, 128 are in Inglewood and the rest are near LAX).
Shuttle’s final journey is carefully choreographed
The 12-mile trip from LAX to the California Science Center will have more bumps than a flight into space, but crews have worked hard to smooth the path.
More: Shuttle’s journey is carefully choreographed
Sources: Times staff reports
Credits: Samantha Schaefer, TimelineSetter