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Endeavour preps for final trip to California Science Center

September 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Space shuttle Endeavour is getting ready for a road trip to its retirement home at the California Science Center.

While the process is expected to take a few weeks, crews didn't waste any time and got to work overnight.

The shuttle was unbolted and removed from the back of a 747 at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday morning. It was placed onto a special flatbed and moved into a United Airlines hangar.

The shuttle will stay at LAX until it makes its 12-mile journey through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center on Oct. 13. Crews are making sure the ground route is clear of any obstacles, such as trees and power lines, in order to clear the shuttle's tail, which is 58 feet high.

Workers at the California Science Center are putting the finishing touches on a barn-like building that will house Endeavour for the first five years of its stay at the museum until a permanent display is built. The exhibit is scheduled to open to the public Oct. 30.

Friday, Endeavour made its final flight, crisscrossing California to the delight of all those who were lucky enough to see her fly by. The shuttle made its victory lap, soaring over the Golden Gate Bridge, state Capitol, Getty Center, Griffith Park and Disneyland.

Endeavour replaced Challenger, which exploded during liftoff in 1986. As the shuttle landed at LAX, an American flag fittingly popped out the window of the 747 guiding it on its final mission.


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