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L.A. Now Live: Endeavour delayed, but L.A. flyover still planned

September 18, 2012 |  8:19 am

The threat of thunderstorms again delayed the start of space shuttle Endeavour’s journey from Florida, pushing back the retired orbiter’s Los Angeles homecoming to Friday. But officials said they still plan a grand flyover across the state and Southern California.

Times reporter Kate Mather will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. Tuesday with the latest updates.

Endeavour was scheduled to leave Kennedy Space Center on Monday morning for Houston, the first leg of what was supposed to be a three-day journey to Los Angeles International Airport. But bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico initially delayed the departure to Tuesday morning; NASA officials announced midday Monday it would be set back another day.

FULL COVERAGE: Space shuttle endeavour

The shuttle is now expected to depart Wednesday at dawn.

And although the shuttle will miss its Thursday arrival, NASA officials say plans for its cross-country farewell tour remain intact. Flown piggyback on a modified 747 aircraft, Endeavour will dip low over several NASA sites along the southern United States and spend one night in Houston before reaching Edwards Air Force Base on Thursday afternoon.

Endeavour will leave the Mojave Desert base early Friday, touring several landmarks across Northern California and the Los Angeles area before touching down at LAX midday.

NASA spokesman Michael Curie said despite the changes, officials were “expecting everything to fall into place.”

“It was kind of a tough decision because you don’t want to ever move something that you had planned, but we at the shuttle program have become used to having to move things,” he said. “This is another one of those cases.”

Once the orbiter arrives in Los Angeles, Endeavour will be housed at a United Airlines hangar until Oct. 12, when it will begin a two-day trek through the city’s streets to its new home at the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Pavilion.