Shuttle Endeavour: Queen Mary on new L.A. flyover route
Weather permitting, the retired orbiter will also be flown over Venice Beach, Universal Studios, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Long Beach Aquarium and the Queen Mary, officials with the California Science Center announced Wednesday.
The shuttle will also fly over the Exposition Park museum, its new permanent home.
Riding piggyback on a modified Boeing 747 aircraft, the retired shuttle departed Kennedy Space Center early Wednesday morning for Houston, the first leg in a two-day trip to California. It flew low over several NASA sites across the South en route to the Texas city, where it landed safely and will spend Wednesday night.
It is scheduled to reach Edwards Air Force base Thursday afternoon. About 7:15 a.m. Friday, the shuttle will take off, flying low over Palmdale, Lancaster, Rosamond and Mojave before heading north to Sacramento, NASA officials said.
There, Endeavour will fly over the Capitol and turn to San Francisco, where those hoping to catch a glimpse of the shuttle are advised to watch from one of several Bay Area museums, including the Chabot Space and Science Center, the Exploratorium, the Bay Area Discovery Museum and the Lawrence Hall of Science. It can also be viewed from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
It should reach the Los Angeles area by mid-morning and is expected to touch down at Los Angeles International Airport about 11 a.m.
Los Angeles police Cmdr. Scott Kroeber urged those hoping to see the shuttle to arrive at viewing locations early -- and not stop while driving to take pictures.
"We don't want this to be the mother of all distracted driving incidents," he said.
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-- Kate Mather
Photo: Space shuttle Endeavour rides atop a Boeing 747 after taking off Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The shuttle is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Friday. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times