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Space shuttle Endeavour one step closer to Los Angeles

June 1, 2011 |  8:29 am

Space shuttle Endeavour in March.

Now that space shuttle Endeavour has landed safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, it is one step closer to being brought to its permanent home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

The shuttle touched down Tuesday night to end its 16-day mission under the command of Capt. Mark E. Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman severely injured in January's mass shooting in Tucson.

Endeavour went to the International Space Station, where the crew performed a number of activities to complete the station's construction.

Much of the Endeavour was built in Southern California. Two other retired shuttles will go to two other sites -- Florida's Kennedy Space Center and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington.

The California Science Center must pay $28.8 million to bring the Endeavour to Los Angeles and overcome the logistical challenges of transporting the craft, with its 78-foot wingspan, to a city famous for its traffic problems.

No word yet on exactly when the shuttle would arrive in Los Angeles, but officials have said they hope to have it on display next year.

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-- Richard Simon in Washington

Photo: Space shuttle Endeavour in March. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press

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