Space shuttle Endeavour's journey is back on schedule
Endeavour’s slow roll through the streets of Los Angeles will continue on schedule, officials said at a news conference in Westchester on Friday morning. Behind them rose the space shuttle, which has been in the Westchester shopping center lot for viewing and mid-trip modifications since 5:45 a.m.
"It's been an exciting night and we are off to a great start," said Jeffrey Rudolph, president and chief executive of the California Science Center. “Everything is really going according to plan, exactly as we had hoped for.”
The shuttle arrived at the Drollinger parking lot at La Tijera and Sepulveda boulevards about an hour and 45 minutes behind schedule Friday morning, Rudolph said. Since then, crews have been working to widen the computerized transporters carrying Endeavour so they can travel over medians on Manchester Boulevard.
The shuttle will leave the Westchester parking lot at 1:30 p.m., half an hour earlier than originally scheduled. It will trundle down Manchester Boulevard at 2 mph, passing into Inglewood city limits at Glasgow Avenue, where it will stop again for several hours.
Crews there will move the orbiter onto the dolly system that will tow it over the 405 Freeway beginning about 10 p.m. Friday.
LAPD Commander Matthew Blake said one of the police's biggest concerns was the crowds. But he said there have been no arrests and the crowd has been cooperative, allowing police to keep more sidewalks around the shuttle open to pedestrians.
"The crowd are getting bigger all the time," Blake said. "Our community has done very, very well ... They have done what we asked and as a result we have been able to be more flexible opening up more places for them to see this beautiful treasure. We are hoping for tomorrow to do the exact same thing."
Aram Sahakian, transportation engineer for LADOT, said La Tijera is currently closed between Westchester to Manchester. La Tijera should remain closed until 11 a.m. or noon, because workers still must remove protective plates from the road, he said.