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Space shuttle Endeavour poised for slow roll through LA

October 2, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Southern Californians witnessed a momentous occasion when the space shuttle Endeavour made its way down the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport last month. Now, city officials prepare for the shuttle's swan song: a two-day road trip to the California Science Center.

Sgt. Rudy Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department said the move has been planned for weeks. Still, moving a space shuttle down city streets will require some flexibility.

"This is probably the first time in history something this size has been traveling through the city of L.A.," Lopez said. "It's been a major undertaking. It's required a lot of coordination between city and state governmental entities, and the private sector, too."

The 170,000 pound Endeavour will ride atop a special trailer. In the early morning hours of Oct. 12, it will first travel from LAX to Inglewood. It will spend the night in Inglewood, then begin the final leg of the trip at 11 a.m. the following morning. The trek will involve three major streets: Manchester, Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards.

More than 400 trees have been removed to accommodate its 78-foot wingspan, and power lines have been raised in order to clear the tail section.

Lopez said he understands that the curious will be tempted to go out and see the shuttle as it makes its way down city streets, but the best vantage point will be at the shuttle's final destination at the science center.

"After Oct. 30, it's going to be open to the public, free of charge, where you can have a personal experience with the Endeavour itself," he said.

Moving the shuttle will surely create some traffic headaches on some already congested streets. Police simply ask the public for patience.


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