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I Spent the Day Following the Space Shuttle in the Streets of Los Angeles


This is one of those days I say a thankful prayer for. Alongside a huge group of giddy residents, I walked alongside the retired space shuttle Endeavour as it was being transported from the Los Angeles International Airport to its new home at the California Science Center. The move is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. No doubt, more space vehicles will be retired one day, but there will never again be another space shuttle moved through the streets of L.A. Here are some photos (and a video) I took today:



Space Shuttle Endeavour being moved along Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Los Angeles - photo by KilmerMedia
Space Shuttle Endeavour on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.


Space Shuttle Endeavour being moved along city streets in Los Angeles - photo by KilmerMedia
Cruisin'...


Space Shuttle Endeavour transporter wheels on a city street in L.A. - photo by KilmerMedia
Part of the 160-wheeled, remote control operated Self-Propelled Modular Trailer


Space Shuttle Endeavour wingtip thermal tiles up close while being moved in Los Angeles - photo by KilmerMedia
Detail of thermal tiles on Endeavour's wingtip

Two helicopters flying behind the nose of Space Shuttle Endeavour during its transport down L.A. city streets - photo by KilmerMedia
News helicopters were in the sky all day, covering this event.


Closeup of the Space Shuttle Endeavour nose while being moved in L.A. - photo by KilmerMedia
Thermal tiles and the Reaction Control System (RCS) on Endeavour's nose


Space Shuttle Endeavour being maneuvered near a light pole along a city street in L.A. - photo by KilmerMedia
Several times during the move, the Shuttle had to be carefully squeeze past poles and trees.

L.A. Department of Transportation reinstalling traffic lights during the Space Shuttle Endeavour move - photo by KilmerMedia
LA DOT crews worked quickly to reinstall traffic lights after Endeavour crossed each intersection.


Young girl wearing space shuttle inflatable hat behind Endeavour in the streets of L.A. - photo by KilmerMedia
That inflatable space shuttle hat is pretty awesome!


closeup showing a wing and body of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, featuring the American flag - photo by KilmerMedia
Endeavour's wing and body detail

Actor Luke Wilson, filming "Satellite Beach" during the move of Space Shuttle Endeavour in Los Angeles - photo by KilmerMedia
Luke Wilson filmed "Satellite Beach" during the Space Shuttle move through L.A.


Space Shuttle Endeavour in front the L.A. Coliseum while being moved to the California Science Center - photo by KilmerMedia
Endeavour with the L.A. Coliseum in the background


Press conference including L.A. Mayor Antonio Villiagarosa, welcoming Space Shuttle Endeavour in front of the California Science Center - photo by KilmerMedia
Space Shuttle Endeavour press conference outside the California Science Center


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaking to the media after Space Shuttle Endeavour arrives at the California Science Center - photo by KilmerMedia
L.A.'s Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaking to the media


Straight-on view of Space Shuttle Endeavour outside the California Science Center - photo by KilmerMedia
Front view of the space shuttle near the California Science Center

 

"I Spent the Day Following the Space Shuttle in the Streets of Los Angeles"

Written by: Justin Kilmer

First published in 2012, updated with more photos in 2023


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