Endeavour’s trek through L.A.
The space shuttle Endeavour is traveling from Los Angeles International Airport to Exposition Park — a trip originally scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday. The voyage has been more logistically challenging than anticipated, with several delays along the route pushing the arrival back nearly a day. The shuttle has moved at a top speed of 2 mph, and at some points along the 12-mile route was just inches away from buildings.
Endeavour arrives at California Science Center
After a dramatic three-day parade through city streets, Endeavour arrives at its new home at the California Science Center shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday amid cheers from thousands gathered to witness a piece of history.
Endeavour enters Exposition Park
Endeavour enters Exposition Park and continues the slow voyage to its new home at the California Science Center. After turning left on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and onto Bill Robertson Way, making its way past the Olympic swim stadium, the shutts stops again to prepare to maneuver around trees and light poles.
Space shuttle Endeavour within sight of Exposition Park
Endeavour is within sight of Exposition Park as it continues to inch its way along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard toward its new home at the California Science Center. The finish line drew near only after several delays several times along the last leg of its two-day, 12-mile journey as it weaved its way around a number of obstacles, sometimes its wings coming within inches of trees and utility poles.
Endeavour clears Leimert Park and cluster of pine trees
The Space Shuttle Endeavour clears Leimert Park and a cluster of pine trees along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that had slowed the final leg of its journey to its retirement home at the California Science Center.
“From then on it’s pretty wide open,” said Jeffrey Rudolph, president of the center.
Cheers as space shuttle moves — then, a leak
After a longer-than-expected pit stop in Leimert Park, the shuttle moves 100 feet only to grind to a halt again. Crews spotted a hydraulic leak from one of the wheeled trailers under the spacecraft, and rushed to put powder over it.
Long waiting game in the dark
By 11 p.m., most of the crowd gathered to greet Endeavour at Exposition Park has gone home. But some remain, stretching blankets between the police barricades and their lawn chairs, forming makeshift tents. They are here for the long haul
Preparing to zigzag between MLK pine trees
Already running about six hours behind, Endeavour prepares for its last delicate maneuver -– zigzagging through tall pines lining both sides of Martin Luther King Jr. Bouelvard.
Officials decided that these trees, planted in honor of the slain civil rights leader, were too important to cut down to make way for Endeavour’s journey to its permanent retirement home. So the shuttle will undergo crab-like movements to avoid striking the pines and make its way east toward the California Science Center.
The show goes on — without Endeavour
Confetti flittered from the sky and dancers swooped through the air on suspended rings as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took the stage at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza – but the celebrated guest was nowhere in sight.
The delay forced organizers of a choreographed dance party at Crenshaw Plaza to pull the trigger early.
“I thought it was going to be 1 p.m., then they said 2 p.m., then 3, then 4,” choreographer Debbie Allen said. “When they said 5 p.m., I just said, ‘OK, let’s do this.’”
The celebrations began three hours late, about 4 p.m., with a dance routine to “Living in America” and a performance from 10-year-old Sebastian De La Cruz from “America’s Got Talent.”
Endeavour running hours behind schedule
Endeavour is continuing to make its way up Crenshaw Boulevard after it was temporarily stalled at 73rd Street as workers trimmed branches so the shuttle could navigate around a tree and utility pole.
The shuttle was supposed to reach Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard for a 2 p.m. performance orchestrated by Debbie Allen. Just before 4 p.m., it crept past 63rd Street, about two miles away.
Photos: Endeavour’s journey through L.A.
Traymond Harris, left, and Ryan Hudge play basketball as the shuttle Endeavour passes through Inglewood Saturday.
Tree briefly delays shuttle
Endeavour took just under five minutes to move from Manchester Boulevard onto Crenshaw Drive, the wheels of its computerized transporters turning perpendicular to Crenshaw as it navigated the turn.
Moments earlier, police ushered a crowd back 50 feet. “The shuttle cannot make the turn!” An officer warned via loudspeaker.
But the shuttle did, and proceeded to crawl up Crenshaw past several apartment complexes before it was forced to stop just in front of 84th Place. A tree trunk stood in the way. Because of the curve of the road, the left wing of the shuttle couldn’t clear the trunk.
Workers prep Endeavour for tight squeeze
Rand Brooks, a subcontractor hired to assist in the space shuttle’s move, has been up since midnight Friday night anticipating one of Endeavour’s trickiest maneuvers Saturday as it crosses Crenshaw Boulevard and Crenshaw Drive.
Crews placed 400 tons of base material made up of broken asphalt, concrete and green material, to keep the shuttle level with the traffic islands at the intersection, Brooks said.
Endeavour, five stories tall with a 78-foot wingspan, will have to twist and turn when it comes up the narrow drive, inches from a row of apartments.
‘Shuttle Delivery Team’ stays busy on route
About 30 minutes after the space shuttle Endeavour rolled down Manchester Boulevard, a crew of seven electricians donning white hard hats and neon yellow vests took up positions at the intersection of Manchester and Kareem Court.
Their goal: reconnect the traffic signal to its pole and get it back into the ground. Having removed the fixture to make way for the shuttle, the workers’ neon vests appropriately read “Shuttle Delivery Team.”
One worker cleared pedestrians from the sidewalk, while three others bent down and collectively struggled to lift the rectangular signal off the ground.
The stoutest of the workers was impressed by the chunk of metal: “Dang, this is heavy.”
His co-worker laughed, “You think?”
Crowds, officials celebrate shuttle at Forum
With music from the science-fiction movie “Men in Black” blaring from the speakers, the shuttle made its glorious turn into the Forum about 90 minutes earlier than planned.
The Inglewood High School marching band warmed up the crowd before several public officials and three former astronauts took to a small stage for about 30 minutes of remarks.
“Isn’t this exciting?” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) asked the crowd.
Shuttle arrives Inglewood Forum
Despite crawling along at a speed of about 2 mph, the space shuttle Endeavour appears to be making good time on its journey home to the California Science Center.
The massive space vehicle pulled up to the Fourm in Inglewood around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, and was greeted by thousands gathered there to see it. It arrived more than an hour ahead of schedule, but Southern California Edison crew members said it will remain at the Fourm until 9:30 a.m. as planned. The crews cleared some transmission lines early and movers decided to proceed.
Crowds at Inglewood City Hall get glimpse of shuttle
Crowds mingled to the west of the shuttle as it inched down Manchester Boulevard. As the shuttle passed City Hall around 6:40 a.m., the crowd erupted in cheers and began snapping photos
Music blared from parked cars and people tried to figure out the best way to catch up with the 170,000-pound spacecraft as it made its way down the street toward its final resting spot at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.
Shuttle on the move again
Shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday, Endeavour was on the move again after successfully crossing the 405 Freeway overnight.
Endeavour began inching along Manchester Boulevard through Inglewood from its resting spot just east of the 405. Crowds were lined up on both sides of the street to catch a glimpse of the orbiter.
Toyota pulls Endeavour over 405
The space shuttle Endeavour has successfully crossed the 405 Freeway, pulled across the overpass by a silver Toyota Tundra and watched by hundreds of excited space fans.
Lit by skyward-facing lights, it took the 85-ton shuttle just about three minutes to cross on an overpass above one of the nation’s busiest freeways — a complicated maneuver because of the sheer size of Endeavour and the narrow bridge.
Shuttle readied for Hollywood closeup in Toyota commercial
As workers prepared to move Endeavour from its specialized transporters to the dollies that would carry it over the 405 Freeway, Manchester Boulevard could have been mistaken for Hollywood.
In addition to the hundreds of spectators snapping photos of the parked shuttle, several camera crews were on hand to film the shuttle’s trek over the freeway Friday evening.
Several dozen people with “Endeavour film crew” vests circled the orbiter with sound and camera equipment, the shuttle’s weathered body illuminated by stage lights.
Shuttle brings out fans young and old
John Olson, 64, unloaded his camera of choice for the last 37 years — a 1912 Fulmer & Schwing black and white view camera — and set up for his dream shot: a picture of the shuttle passing the massive doughnut atop Randy’s Donuts.
“That thing flew to outer space!” Olson said. “And now it’s running around the streets of L.A.”
Although in awe of the shuttle’s size, Olson said the Endeavour isn’t the most impressive thing he’s seen. That distinction, he said, belongs to the five shuttle landings he’s watched in person.
Shuttle move may cost $10 million
Moving a space shuttle through the streets of Los Angeles is no easy task — nor an inexpensive one.
The total bill for transporting Endeavour from LAX to its new home at the California Science Center could top $10 million, the Exposition Park museum said. The center is covering the tab with donations — officials have long stressed that none of the costs will be paid with taxpayer dollars
Crews prepare for move over 405 freeway
At the corner of Manchester Boulevard and Glasgow Avenue, three transmission lines attached to a hook on a 90-ton crane lifted up the wires to make room for the five-story-tall shuttle. A yellow measuring tape dangled from the lowest wire as crews made sure the shuttle had at least 70 feet of clearance.
Officials with Southern California Edison said the California Science Center asked them to speed up electrical work in order to make up for delays early Friday morning, and possibly move up the arrival of the shuttle at Exposition Park.
How is the shuttle moved?
While the shuttle Endeavour will travel at a top speed of only 2 mph on its trek to the California Science Center, it will be forced to do some maneuvers as nerve-racking as any high-speed pursuit. At five stories tall and 170,000 pounds, the shuttle is so big that any shift in winds or unexpected weather could bring the move to a halt. At several points along the 12-mile route, the spacecraft will be inches away from buildings, even protruding onto driveways and over sidewalks.
And the girth of the shuttle and its transporting equipment is so enormous that the streets along the route had to be dotted with heavy steel.
Engineers concluded that the city streets could not support the weight — the equivalent of 30 elephants — so they gathered maps and blueprints to identify all the gas lines, sewers, water pipes, drainage systems and other utilities that needed protecting.
Former Endeavour engineers reminisce about the legacy of the last space shuttle ever built.
Endeavour on the move again
Right at 1:30, the space shuttle Endeavour began to inch forward.
A stir went up among the crowd gathered in Westchester as the shuttle crept from its temporary parking space to resume its journey toward the California Science Center.
As the retired orbiter began to move, a noise like an engine starting up washed over the crowd. Children wearing school uniforms shouted excitedly.
Hundreds to lose power as shuttle rolls through
About 400 Inglewood residents will lose power Friday night as the space shuttle Endeavour makes one of its trickiest maneuvers on its 12-mile trek along the streets of Los Angeles — crossing the 405 Freeway at Manchester Boulevard.
The planned outage is expected to begin at 10 p.m. and might last up to four hours. Crews are expected to stagger the outage and restore power as promptly as possible, said Ed Antillon, director of distribution and construction with Southern California Edison.
Endeavour posters are hot item
By mid-morning, Endeavour had already earned Mitch Warner the better part of $500.
The wiry 28-year-old with a wide smile and a booming voice walked up and down Sepulveda Boulevard hawking posters. His main product: a poster of the shuttle with a small picture of President Obama in the right hand corner.
It read: “Once in a lifetime, Shuttle on Shaw.”
Crowds pose with shuttle in Westchester
Sitting on traffic signal and road sign pole that was taken down to make room for the shuttle’s move, Tanya Isaacson, 37, and her 1-year-old son Cameron Jimenez get their picture taken in front of Endeavour in Westchester.
Hundreds gather in Westchester to see shuttle
Early morning light bathed Endeavour’s weathered body in a pink glow Friday morning as more than 500 people gathered in a Westchester parking lot to catch a glimpse of the space shuttle on the first leg of its final journey.
“When else do you get to see something like this in your own backyard?” said Jennie DiPaolo, 49, whose two sons, Luke and Matthew, were wearing red St. Anastasia Catholic School sweat shirts. “We can go see it in the museum, but this is our neighborhood. We drive by here every day.”
Endeavour leaves LAX property for Westchester
Tree branches and other obstacles caused small delays in the space shuttle Endeavour’s move from LAX to a Westchester shopping center parking lot, where it is being parked for nine hours.
Shuttle leaves United hangar at LAX
The space shuttle Endeavour has begun its final journey, leaving a Los Angeles International Airport hangar just before midnight Thursday.
City Beat: Randy’s celebrates with shuttle doughnuts
Randy’s Donuts, at Manchester and La Cienega boulevards, was all set to be shuttle viewing central. The brothers put a miniature shuttle in the giant doughnut hole. They put a yellow sign in the window: “SPACE SHUTTLE XING.” They started punching out shuttle doughnuts with a special cookie cutter they got from a place called the Space Store, Ron Weintraub said. They iced them white with brown letters, USA and NASA.
But that stretch of Manchester will be closed from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., crowds discouraged. So Randy’s, which is usually 24-7, planned to shut at 8 p.m. Thursday.
“I’ve seen all the other capsules go up, I’ve seen them go in the water. And they’re not going to let me see this any other way?” Ora Alcox asked Larry Weintraub, who owns Randy’s with his brother Ron.
Endeavour’s route from LAX to the California Science Center
Here is the route Endeavour is expected to follow Friday and Saturday from LAX to its new home at the California Science Center.
Sources: Times staff reports
Credits: Samantha Schaefer, TimelineSetter