Endeavor on last leg through LA streets
BY ALICIA CHANG Associated Press
Sunday, October 14, 2012
10/14/12 at 5:55 AM
At every turn of Endeavour's stop-and-go commute through urban streets, a constellation of spectators trailed along as the space shuttle ploddingly nosed past stores, schools, churches and front yards.
Having escaped out of Earth's atmosphere two dozen times, Endeavour's slow-speed trek Saturday to its retirement center took it through the working class streets of southern Los Angeles.
In an instant, the shuttle crossings became part of history.
Along the 12-mile course, people marveled at the engineering. Some rooted for Endeavour when it appeared it might clip a lightpost. Others wondered if it could just hurry up to its destination.
Endeavour was scheduled to inch into the California Science Center late Saturday to spend the rest of its years as a museum piece. The shuttle hit the pavement before dawn Friday, trundling out of the Los Angeles International Airport on a remote-controlled 160-wheeled carrier past diamond-shaped "Shuttle Xing" signs. The first day of the move was punctuated by long idle spells as crews reconfigured the carrier and leapfrogged ahead on the route to hoist power lines and dismantle traffic lights and street signs.
There were bumps in the road. Several hundred Inglewood residents suffered hours-long outages when power lines were temporarily snipped. Some businesses lost customers because of street and sidewalk closures.
John Wilkes, 69, a longtime Inglewood resident, woke up five hours earlier than usual to stake out a spot.
"This is definitely a treat," said Wilkes, who is retired from the airline industry.
The cross-town transport was estimated at $10 million, to be paid for by the science center and private donations.
Original Print Headline: Endeavor on last journey
The Space Shuttle Endeavour slowly moves along city streets on a 160-wheeled carrier in Inglewood, Calif., on Saturday. After slowly surmounting a key obstacle, the shuttle Endeavour maintained a heading Saturday through the streets of Los Angeles toward its retirement home at a museum. JAE C. HONG / Associated Press