Fri October 12, 2012
Shuttle Endeavour Begins 12-Mile Crawl To New Los Angeles Home
The Shuttle Endeavour began an incredible 12-mile journey through the streets of Southern California. The trip ends at its new home at the California Science Center.
Perhaps the AP put it best: In space, the shuttle traveled at a blazing 17,500 mph. But this final victory lap through narrow Los Angeles streets will proceed at 2 mph.
The AP adds:
"Hundreds of spectators, some with pajama-clad children in tow, waited in the predawn darkness. In unison, they held up their cameras and cellphones and gaped as the 170,000-pound Endeavour inched by with its tail towering over streetlights and its wings spanning the roadway.
"It made stop-and-go progress, with some halts to check its balance and to prune trees in its path as it crept past strip malls and storefronts.
"In a massive feat of parallel parking, the shuttle was backed into a shopping center parking lot in the Westchester neighborhood around 5:30 a.m. — later than expected."
The Los Angeles Times reports the two-day journey is a triumph of engineering. The 85-ton shuttle is on a transporter designed by Boeing. It has 80 wheels in 40 pairs that can move in any direction.
The Times produced a must-watch video that shows off all the transporter can do. It's worth a watch.
Endeavour is scheduled to finish its journey tomorrow.