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Shuttle Endeavour enters hangar

October 14, 2012 | 10:30 pm

It was just after 7:30 p.m. Sunday when the space shuttle Endeavor rolled into its enormous hangar at the California Science Center and finally came to a rest after its 12-mile journey thorough Los Angeles.

It was also the moment Ken Carrion said he could finally breathe easy. As a project manager for the Sarens Group, the heavy lifting firm that moved the 85-ton orbiter to its new home, Carrion sweated every inch of the craft’s movement through local streets.

"This has been the most humbling and exhilarating experience in my  40 years in construction," the 65-year-old said as he stood beneath the shuttle’s nose. "Everywhere I was it was giving me goose bumps to see the L.A. community come together."

Once the shuttle was finally parked in the hangar, workers began the laborious task of welding the shuttle into place. But not before Sarens crew and Science Center employees took a few minutes to shake hands, call family and pat each other on the back.

"I'm speechless, this is unbelievable. The last moments of its final mission have ended,” said Luis Vides, 25, a Science Center employee.

A throng of about 30 loyal shuttle watchers applauded as Endeavour disappeared into the hangar. After they left, new crowds of spectators began circulating through the park, as police worked to keep them from getting too close to the work.


Past 1:30 a.m., cheers as space shuttle moves -- then, a leak

Maintenance delays push Endeavour arrival to 7 a.m. at earliest

Space shuttle Endeavour won't arrive at museum until 6 a.m. at earliest

-- Joseph Serna