Last March Angelenos saw the complex logistical operation of moving a 340-ton boulder from a quarry in Riverside County to LACMA, to become part of “Levitated Mass.” Now Angelenos are about to witness the historic transportation of retired space shuttle Endeavour to the California Science Center, which will be its permanent home.
Endeavour arrives at Edwards Air Force Base tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 20th, and on Friday it will fly low over several California cities and landmarks. It will reach the L.A. area around 10:30 and fly over the Getty Center, the Griffith Observatory, Malibu and Disneyland before landing at LAX.
This is just the beginning of Endeavour’s journey. It will stay at a United Airlines hangar until Oct.12, when it will begin a two-day celebratory parade through the city’s streets to the Science Center.
But the historic hauling of Endeavour through the streets of L.A is not without controversy. It turns out some 400 trees will have to be cut down along the 12-mile route between LAX and Exposition Park so that Endeavour can pass through. Residents were understandably up in arms so the Science Center had to do a lot of convincing and agreed to replant four times as many trees, repair sidewalks, and other things. That’s a win-win outcome, I’d say.
In the end, Endeavour’s homecoming (it was built and maintained in the area) will be good for L.A. The city will have another major attraction and the privilege of hosting the last of NASA’s shuttle fleet. Children and adults will enjoy visiting it when it’s finally on display.
Unfortunately, I will not be in L.A. on the days of the shuttle parade. But I’m looking forward to visiting the exhibit, which opens to the public Oct. 30.