Space Shuttle Endeavour Flies Over Hollywood Sign, Makes Final Landing in Los Angeles

Category: Media & Culture / Sep 21, 2012 7:22PM EDT
The space shuttle Endeavour toured Southern California and arrived in Los Angeles on its final journey before taking up residence at the California Science Center. After making low-altitude passes over some of California's best-known landmarks, including Disneyland, the Hollywood sign and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Endeavour and its carrier jet landed at Los Angeles International Airport. Friday's flight from Edwards Air Force Base marked Endeavour's last ferry flight, and the final airborne journey for any of NASA's three surviving shuttles. After its arrival at Los Angeles, Endeavour will undergo preparations to be moved next month through city streets from the airport to its permanent home at the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles, where the shuttle will be put on public display starting Oct. 30. To make way for the mammoth orbiter along its 12-mile (19-km) route to the museum, crews will cut down nearly 400 trees, raising overhead utility wires and temporarily removing hundreds of utility poles, street lights and traffic signals. The science center has agreed to plant 1,000 new trees to replace those scheduled for removal. Endeavour is the second of NASA's three surviving shuttles to be sent to a museum. The oldest surviving shuttle, Discovery, is on display at the Smithsonian outside Washington. Atlantis, which flew NASA's 135th and final shuttle mission in July 2011, will be towed down the road to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in November. NASA lost a fourth shuttle, Columbia, in another fatal accident in 2003. That shuttle was not replaced. A shuttle test vehicle, Enterprise, which has never flown in space, was delivered to a New York City museum.