Loud cheers as shuttle Endeavour passes Santa Monica Pier
To cheers and screams, the space shuttle Endeavour passed over Malibu and the Santa Monica Pier on Friday.
Crowds lined the pier as well as points along the beach as the shuttle entered L.A. County. It's scheduled to head toward Long Beach, Orange County, Pasadena, downtown L.A. and Hollywood in the next few minutes.
“Amazing, amazing, amazing,” said Derek Johns, 41, of Los Angeles, at the pier as he snapped photos.
“I got chills,” said Dave Atkinson, an El Segundo councilman who watched the shuttle from the city's overlook. “This is America at its finest.”
Twitter lit up with messages from people seeing the shuttle in Santa Monica and the Westside.
"Just saw the space shuttle fly over Santa Monica beach. Right over our heads. So cool," Lisa Mindelle wrote.
The shuttle moved through the Central Coast and Ventura County after wowing the Bay Area.
The shuttle flew over a sunny San Francisco, gliding over the cranes at the Port of Oakland, the glittering waters of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. It then moved south along the coast, going by Santa Maria, the Vandenburg Air Force Base, Santa Barbara and into Ventura County.
It will enter L.A. County near Malibu.
By 10:22, Endeavour came back for a second pass, coursing closer and lower and buzzing the bridge. As the sound of the plane's engines drowned out the traffic on the bridge and tourists ran to get the best vantage point, screams of "Whooo!" could be heard as the shuttle flew over the suspension bridge.
"It was unbelievable. Did you hear all the clapping? I can't even believe we're here!" said Polly Lestikow, of Centennial, Colo., who just happened to be bicycling across the bridge Friday morning, unaware of NASA's planned show Friday.
The much feared fog was gone by the time Endeavour flew by the Golden Gate.
The parking lots on the San Francisco side of the bridge had filled by 8:30. Vista point was lined with people shortly thereafter. Bridge bicyclists stopped on the graceful span as traffic whizzed by.
—Rong-Gong Lin II, Jeff Gottlieb in El Segundo and Matt Stevens in Santa Monica