Too slow? Why didn't they just remove Endeavour's wings?
Endeavour’s wings cast a shadow over La Tijera Boulevard, a few feet from spectators lining the road, as the shuttle rumbled into the second leg of its journey toward the California Science Center.
In other places, its wingtips barely skimmed the tops of buildings.
Navigating the narrow curves of Crenshaw Drive on Saturday will be even more of a challenge for the lumbering 21-year-old shuttle. The spacecraft will come within inches of buildings on either side of the street. To give Endeavour as much room as possible, the advance crews created a compacted base of material that will raise the street to the height of the sidewalk.
Many South L.A. residents and spectators have questioned why the shuttle's wings weren't removed so it could be more easily be transported.
California Science Center officials have said they want the orbiter to look as authentic as possible. According to the museum's website, NASA can't separate or reattach the wings or tail without "the infrastructure that is provided" in its orbiter, meaning "the vehicle could not be reassembled if it were taken apart."
Removing the wings or tail would also damage the protective tiles on the shuttle, the museum said.
Planning on seeing the shuttle? Send your photos on Twitter to @latimes or Instagram to @latimesphotos with the hashtag #SpotTheShuttle or upload them here — and don't forget to tell us where you are.
-- Kate Mather
Photo: Employees at Firestone get a close view of Endeavour as it passes on La Tijera Boulevard. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Time