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After moving from the United Airlines Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport to the adjacent Los Angeles suburb of Westchester, the Shuttle sat in a parking lot for about 8 hours, and then in the afternoon resumed its move on the streets of Los Angeles toward its greatest obstacle, the I-405 bridge on Manchester Boulevard. Here, the shuttle stopped, changed carriers and was dragged across the bridge by a Toyota as part of a commercial.

Location, late Friday at I-405.

Why Toyota? Why not. Moving the shuttle is ghastly expensive with ahead and behind the convoy armies taking down light poles, street signs and stoplights, laying metal plates to protect utilities and trimming (if not cutting down) trees. And after the shuttle passes? Everything must be put back exactly as before by the end of the weekend. So even the streets are being brushed and then scrubbed.

By late Friday crowds had gathered at the I-405 bridge as the shuttle arrived as the California Science Center handed out t-shirts that read “I Love my Space Shuttle” on the front and “Mission 26: THE BIG ENDEAVOUR!” on the back along with a picture of the shuttle and the California Science Center name.

This is nothing short of joyous.

The trek was to continue on Saturday ending mid-evening Saturday with the Endeavour sliding into its temporary new home for the next few years adjacent to the Los Angeles Coliseum. She will was to begin receiving visitors by the end of October.

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Endeavour pulled into a parking lot where only 2-hour parking is allowed early Friday morning, October 12 — and, sure enough, after lunch someone came along and towed her away.

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The Endeavour eases around a corner heading uphill to the Manchester crossing of Interstate 405. This was easily the most challenging part of the move since the shuttle ands its carrier were too heavy to cross the bridge together. The solution? Use a lighter carrier and have a Toyota truck tug her across. Plus! Toyota could make a commercial, pay a ot of money and help defray the huge cost of moving the Endeavour through the streets of Los Angeles. The city has never seen anything like this, and probably never will again.

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Endeavour stopped short of the I-405 crossing a block west where it was transferred to a different carrier. In her trip to the California Science Center near downtown Los Angeles she passed through from Los Angeles into the municipality of Inglewood and then back into Los Angeles. Inglewood, with a much smaller police force, drew on other police agencies including  the California Highway Patrol and the Amtrak police and Amtrak’s police dogs. Amtrak has dogs? — yes, Amtrak has dogs.

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Carol Anne Swagler, Seine/Harbour™ Productions photographer, wears California Science Center livery after being handed a t-shirt which reads “I love my Space Shuttle”. She stands next to a security official who oversaw the security for the media section at the I-405 bridge. Her name is Cookie and she was as good at handling people as anyone we have ever seen.

.These photographs and text are © 2012 by Seine/Harbour® Productions, LLC and Peter M. Crow

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Early Friday morning Endeavour was plopped right in the middle of the intersection of LaTijera and Sepulveda Way in Westchester in the city of Los Angeles, heading for a donut shop at I-405 and a tug across the highway bridge spanning the interstate courtesy of Toyota.

Running a few hours behind schedule, stopping and occasionally backing up while more trees get trimmed, Endeavour inched its way out of Los Angeles International Airport in the early hours of Friday. The 12-mile journal to the California Science Center was already shaping up to be a lot more time-consuming and trouble than planned. (Photo by Peter Michael Crow for Seine/Habour® Productions, Studio City, California. © 2012 Seine/Harbour® Productions).

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The Final Space Shuttle on Pad 39A before Launch

The final mission in July 2011 the Space Shuttle program was STS-135, an add-on mission necessary to re-supply the International Space Station through the end of 2012.  This photograph is pre-dawn morning at Kennedy Space Center a day before the final flight.

Pete Crow at Launch Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, with STS-135, final mission in the shuttle program on pad behind him awaiting launch. (Carol Anne Swagler photograph, © 2011 Seine/Harbour Productions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CBS in Los Angeles mapped it out — have a look HERE.

Endeavour preparing to be mated to the 747 in Florida on September 14. She was to be unmated from the 747 at LAX using cranes.

After landing on the southern east/west runway along Imperial Highway 105, Endeavour was taken to the United Airlines hangar where she will remain for the next few weeks. A final welcoming ceremony was held for her there.

The plans were for the KSC crew, lead by Flow Manager Stephanie Stilson, to begin the final readying of Endeavour at midnight Pacific time. Work was expected to be completed in 10-12 hours before Noon Saturday, September 22.

The SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft) was scheduled to return to Edwards Air Force Base after off-loading Endeavour, to park and then to be abandoned.

The American Space Shuttle program is almost over — but not quite.

On Friday and Saturday October 12/13 Endeavour will make her way through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center.

Several weeks later Atlantis, now in an Orbiter Processing Facility hangar at Kennedy Space Center, will make her way a few miles south and east to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Center (scheduled for November 2, 2012). And with that, the program will indeed be completed.

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Thursday, the Shuttle Eneavour flies from Houston to Biggs Army Base, Texas (re-fuel), and then spend the night at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour, atop the NASA 747-100, is easy for you to follow across the United States — simply go HERE, and then enter NASA905 as the flight number. The full tail number of the airplane which Endeavour is mated to N905NA. Enter only “NASA905”, however.

Here’s the route:

CLICK to ENLARGE // To track Endeavour as she flies across the United States go to flightaware.com, look midway down the left side of the home page and find this panel. You will find the flight like this: Enter “NASA905″in the “Flight#” panel. That’s all there is to it! :

(Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to Houston’s Ellington Air Force Base — September 19);

(then Houston/Ellington to Biggs Army Airfield/El Paso (re-fuel) to Edwards/Dryden,California — September 20).

(THEN Edwards/Dryden north to Northern California and south landing at LAX between 11 am and Noon — September 21).

Here’s how to track her:

First — go to the link above which will take you to FlightAware — ( http://www.flightaware,com )

Then — find the panel halfway down the lefthand side of the FlightAware home page that looks like the panel directly to your left here. Under “Private Flight Tracker” enter the “Flight/Tail#” — “NASA905”.

Bingo!

This assumes previous flight numbers and designations remain the same for this flight. Don’t egg my house if it proves not to be the case — but it sure ought to be.

MAPS of LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (below — scroll down)

And, beow are maps of LAX. The 747/Endeavour will land on the southern runway paralleling the Imperial Highway at the terminus of Freeway 105 and likely approach, as most aircraft do when landing at LAX, from east, landing to the west toward the Pacific Ocean. Expect it to stop about three-quarters of the way down the runway. Great views of her to the east will be possible for a wide swatch of Los Angeles along the 105.

Note, however: That Mother-of-all-LAX-Planespotting — at the In-n-Out Burger on Sepulveda at the end of the northernmost easternmost end of the runway — will be worthless since the shuttle will be approaching and landing far away to the south.

At the Sepulveda location planes dip almost directly over your head which makes it a great place, especially since the landing lights straddle Sepulveda.

On the other hand, If you’re not expecting it, you might swallow your entire burger and fries in a single gulp when the first one rumbles over you.

At the peak hours as many as 10 planes can land adjacent to you as you sit in line waiting at In-n-Out to get your burgers.

LAX courtesy of Google maps. NASA905 will likely land east to west (right to left) rolling to a stop about 3/4 down the southernmost (bottom) runway. Watching her land from Imperial Highway will be a cinch. Even better would be if you were checked into one of the rooms at the Embassy Suites midway down the runway. No surprise. The hotel is completely booked.

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LAX as it is known to pilots and the FAA. The 747 will spend Thursday night at Dryden/Edwards (high desert north of Palmdale), then head to Northern California before landing at LAX between 11am and Noon. Endeavour will go through the streets of LA on October 12/13, and is expected to open for public viewing at the California Science Center on October 30.

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(official NASA press release sent to Media on evening of September 16, 2012)

WEATHER POSTPONES SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR FERRY FLIGHT TO SEPT. 18

WASHINGTON — NASA’s planned ferry flight of space shuttle Endeavour
atop the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) has been postponed until
Tuesday, Sept. 18 due to an unfavorable weather forecast for Monday,
Sept. 17.

NASA’s 747-100 on the ground at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, after arriving on September 11, 2012. Later in the week the Shuttle Endeavour was mated to her back (scroll down to next post) for the Endeavour’s final ride to Los Angeles and to the California Science Museum. Departure from Florida was re-scheduled to Tuesday, September 18, 2012, because of en route weather.

To ensure a safe flight for Endeavour and the SCA, NASA managers, in
consultation with the California Science Center, decided Sunday to
delay the flight because of inclement weather predicted along the
flight path between Houston and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where
the flight will originate.

On Oct. 11, 2011, NASA transferred title and ownership of Endeavour to
the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Despite the one-day
delayed departure from Kennedy, NASA still plans to transport
Endeavour to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) by Thursday,
Sept. 20.

In cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, the SCA is
scheduled to conduct low-level flyovers at about 1,500 feet above
locations along the planned flight path. The exact timing and path of
the ferry flight will depend on weather conditions and operational
constraints. Some planned flyovers or stopovers could be delayed or
cancelled. If the ferry flight is postponed again, an additional
advisory will be issued.

At sunrise on Sept. 18, the SCA and Endeavour will depart Kennedy’s
Shuttle Landing Facility and perform a flyover of various areas of
the Space Coast, including Kennedy, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor
Complex, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base.

The aircraft will fly west and conduct low flyovers of NASA’s Stennis
Space Center in Mississippi and the agency’s Michoud Assembly
Facility in New Orleans. As it arrives over the Texas Gulf Coast
area, the SCA will perform low flyovers above various areas of
Houston and Clear Lake before landing at Ellington Field near NASA’s
Johnson Space Center.

At sunrise on Wednesday, Sept. 19, the aircraft will depart Houston,
make a refueling stop at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, and
conduct low-level flyovers of White Sands Test Facility near Las
Cruces, N.M., and NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air
Force Base in California, before landing around mid-day at Dryden.

On the morning of Sept. 20, the SCA and Endeavour will take off from
Dryden and perform a low-level flyover of northern California,
passing near NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif.,
and various landmarks in multiple cities, including Sacramento and
San Francisco. The aircraft also will conduct a flyover of many Los
Angeles sites before landing about 11 a.m. PDT at LAX.

Social media users are encouraged to share their Endeavour sightings
using the hashtags #spottheshuttle and #OV105, Endeavour’s orbiter
vehicle designation.

After arrival at LAX, Endeavour will be removed from the SCA and spend
a few weeks at a United Airlines hangar undergoing preparations for
transport and display. Endeavour then will travel through Inglewood
and Los Angeles city streets on a 12-mile journey from the airport to
the science center, arriving in the evening on Oct. 13.

Beginning Oct. 30, the shuttle will be on display in the science
center’s Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion,
embarking on its new mission to commemorate past achievements in
space and educate and inspire future generations of explorers.
Endeavour completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited
Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles.

For information about NASA’s transfer of space shuttles to museums,
visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/transition

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Where will the shuttles go?
How many were built?
How many shuttles survive?
How many mockups were built? — where are they?
What was OV-95? — where did it fly?

Five shuttles were built and three survive. The order in which they came into the fleet is as follows:

COLUMBIA = OV-102 … Columbia broke up as it was preparing to land and was lost, along with its entire crew, over southeastern Texas on February 1, 2003.

CHALLENGER == OV-99 … Challenger broke up and was lost, along with its entire crew, over the Atlantic Ocean shortly after launch on January 28, 1986.

DISCOVERY = OV-103 … the oldest surviving Orbiter will go to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at Dulles International Airport early in 2012. Currently hazmat materials, useful instruments and other parts that may be of later use are being removed at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Discovery has been in one of three hangars at Kennedy Space Center.

ATLANTIS = OV-104 … the second oldest surviving Orbiter, and the fourth of four originally built, will stay at the Kennedy Space Center. Atlantis will be the final shuttle to fly and is scheduled to be launched on July 8, 2011.

ENDEAVOUR == OV-105 … the youngest in the fleet, and by all accounts in very good shape “with quite a lot of life still left in her”, according to one NASA official. Endeavour will go to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. She completed her final mission on June 1, 2011, landing at KSC at 2:32 am. Endeavour was built as a replacement when The Challenger was lost in 1986 and joined the fleet in 1991.

Where were the shuttles built?
All five shuttles were built in Palmdale, California, south of Edwards Air Force Base where shuttles originally landed during test flights, and on the earliest missions, prior to construction of the SLF (shuttle landinf facility = runway) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Later Edwards, and White Sands, New Mexico, were backup landing sites, and both were occasionally used.

Unlike the original four shuttles, construction of the Endeavour was speeded by availablily of replacement parts for the first four shuttles. Strictly speaking, unlike the first four, Endeavour was not built from scratch.

ENTERPRISE = OV-101 == Isn’t New York City getting a shuttle? —
where did THAT shuttle come from?

New York is getting a shuttle, but then again, it isn’t. New York will get the shuttle, Enterprise, currently on display at the Smithsonian. Enterprise never flew in space, but did fly in Earth atmosphere in test flights. Enterprise will be moved to New York and placed on display there. It’s a shuttle, but it was never an operational shuttle that flew in space, unlike the other three surviving shuttles. The shuttle New York City will get was an important vehicle in the development of the shuttle; it’s not some cardboard cut-out dummy, and it came close to having a life of its own in space not once, but twice. An excellent telling of the Enterprise’s history, and how it nearly became an operation shuttle itself is HERE.

EXPLORER (Mockup) ==
Why didn’t Texas, with Mission Control located at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, get a shuttle?

There were only so many to go around and the prevailing thought is: politics: Texas didn’t vote for President Obama in 2008.

The shuttle mockup, Explorer, began its trip to Houston on December 1, 2011. Its name was painted out prior to the move from the Kennedy Visitors Center.

Texas is, however, getting a shuttle mockup.

The Explorer, a high definition shuttle mockup built and on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center, is on its way to Houston. It was moved from the Visitors Center in Florida to Pad 39 Media Parking lot adjacent to the KSC turning basin on December 11, 2011.

It will be shipped by barge to Galveston, and then moved overland to the Johnson Space Center in Spring 2012.

OV-95 = SAIL The Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory Shuttle This was the first shuttle to “fly” although it never flew in space. OV-95 was an exact mechanical replica of the other shuttles and used both to test systems and to fly (on the ground in tandem) beginning with a shuttle lift-off. SAIL was located in Houston. When STS-135 landed, it was broken up, the wiring re-cycled and the remainder discarded.

PATHFINDER (mockup) == (unofficially OV-98) This mockup was used to test road clearances and other non-operational spacial issues related to how the shuttle could and would be moved. At various times, after its use, it was in Japan and Florida and today is in Alabama on display. More about the Pathfinder can be found HERE.

There is logic in where all of the shuttles are going
— but that logic only goes so far:

Endeavour: The shuttles were built just north of Los Angeles so they get Endeavour

Atlantis: the shuttles were launched from KSC so they get Atlantis

Discovery: The Smithsonian always gets the premier aircraft, as they should, so they get Discovery, the oldest survivor in the fleet.

And then there’s New York City.

How did they manage to get a shuttle, albeit not an operational shuttle? Three shuttles on the east coast and one on the west? None in the midwest? Well, New York DID vote for Obama in 2008 … and …

More on the OV (“Orbiter Vehicle”) designation number can be found HERE.

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