Details of space shuttle Endeavour's journey to L.A. to be revealed
The space shuttle Endeavour might be retired, but it has one more journey to make before it can officially call it quits.
California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph is set to reveal Wednesday morning the details of the shuttle's upcoming trek through the streets of Los Angeles as it makes its way to its permanent home at the Exposition Park museum.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is also to be on hand at the morning news conference, along with Inglewood Mayor James Butts Jr.
The shuttle -- which logged nearly 123 million miles on 25 missions -- is to fly on the back of a specially equipped Boeing 747 to Los Angeles International Airport from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. NASA tentatively said the flight would occur in late September.
"It's going to come on top of a big airplane, a 747, and it's going to circle the L.A. area three times, and then we're going to have a parade -- the mother of all parades," Villaraigosa said in October. "And from LAX, through the great city of Inglewood, down Martin Luther King Boulevard, it is going to be a sight to be seen."
Moving Endeavour -- which weighs about 170,000 pounds and measures 78 feet wide -- won't be an easy task. Officials previously told The Times that the journey would likely require power lines, traffic signals and trees along the route to be removed.
NASA awarded the shuttle to the California Science Center after a fierce competition between museums nationwide. The state-run museum plans to house the shuttle in a temporary exhibit open to the public until construction on a new Air and Space Center is complete.
Three other orbiters were awarded to museums across the country. Discovery is housed at the Smithsonian complex near Washington; Enterprise on the flight deck of a retired aircraft carrier in New York; and Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center.
Endeavour is the last of the four to make its way to its new home.
-- Kate Mather
Photo credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times