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GIF: Watch Space Shuttle Endeavour's close call with tree

October 16, 2012 | 10:43 pm

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The slow pace of the space shuttle Endeavour as it rolled through the streets of Los Angeles this weekend was blamed in part on the delicate maneuvering around trees and other objects.

The biggest problems came Sunday morning on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in South L.A.

The spacecraft's wings came within inches of the trees, forcing crews to do last-minute trims. In the predawn darkness, a crewman shined a flashlight on the tip of Endeavour's wingspan, which is so broad that it often hung over the boulevard’s sidewalks.

It took hours for the spacecraft to make it through.

Even so, many were impressed.

"Amazing they can control this machinery to control this huge spaceship -- how they can save the tree -- that was like inches," said Eleuterio Rojas of Leimert Park, moments after the shuttle's right wing cleared a tree by about an inch or so in front of Audubon Middle School.

The Times' Bryan Chan turned the shuttle's three-day move into a time-lapse video that lasts less than three minutes. Watch it here.

Above is a GIF from Chan's video showing the huge shuttle moving past a tree with agility.

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--Samantha Schaefer and Shelby Grad

Credit: Los Angeles Times

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