Los Angeles News

Endeavour preps for move from LAX to California Science Center

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Just how big of a deal is moving the Space Shuttle Endeavour from Los Angeles International Airport to its new home at the California Science Center?

"It is a large endeavor," said project director Marty Fabric.

All kidding aside, he's the guy in charge of making sure Endeavour will make it in one piece to the California Science Center.

"Moving something the size of the shuttle with a 78-foot wingspan through the city streets is maybe not rocket science but it's not too far from it," he said.

While you will be able to see Endeavour as it makes its way to the California Science Center, this is not going to be a parade. There will only be limited viewing because of safety concerns.

That's because trees have to be removed, power lines dismantled, pretty much everything in the shuttle's way will have to be out of its way starting next Friday.

It's a 12-mile route that starts at the shuttle's current spot in the United Airlines Hangar. By 2 a.m. Friday it will hit public roads for a journey that will take it through Los Angeles, Inglewood, then back into Los Angeles where it's slated to roll onto the science center campus by 9 p.m. Saturday.

But as speedy as Endeavour is in space, on the ground, it's downright glacial.

"The maximum the shuttle will travel is about 2 miles an hour, which is about as fast as I jog," said LAPD Lieutenant Andy Neiman.

Neiman will tell you that is not very fast at all. Organizers say it's guaranteed to cause all kinds of road closures.

"As the shuttle approaches a certain intersection, we're going close basically two or three blocks on either side, and then we're going to hold that location probably as long as it takes for us to get the shuttle through, to get all the power poles down, reinstall the power poles so we can return those streets to as close to normal as possible," Neiman said.

And once Endeavour finally makes it to the science center the Shuttle Display Pavilion awaits it. It's the not too fancy but not too permanent parking spot for the 165,000 pound star.

"We'll be here for about three years. It's a temporary facility while we design and start construction of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center," said Fabric.

To see Endeavour, you can find a spot along Crenshaw Avenue between 46th Street and 60 Street. The best places to see the shuttle go by is the Inglewood Forum, where there will be free parking for thousands of vehicles, and the Bill Robertson parking lot at the California Science Center.

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space shuttle, nasa, los angeles international airport, los angeles news, rob hayes
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