Retired space shuttle Endeavour is making a trip no other space shuttle has made before: through the streets and highways of Los Angeles.
The retired shuttle is being wheeled slowly through the roads to its final resting place at the California Science Center, where it will be placed on permanent display. The craft landed at the Los Angeles International Airport on Friday and began its slow trek to the science center, which will take about two days.
Officials have been planning the land trip for months. The huge shuttle is going through 12 miles of twisting, turning roads, requiring the removal of utility lines, streetlights and some trees.
Jerry Rudolph, the Science Center president and CEO, told reporters the move is very complex, but everything is moving according to plan.
The shuttle is making stops along the route and officials want citizens to come out and take an up-close look at the craft. But once at the museum, the shuttle will remain on display forever to “inspire the next generation of scientists, explorers and engineers,” Rudolph said.
Endeavour, Discovery, Enterprise and Atlantis are all now museum pieces, after NASA ended the 30-year-old shuttle program in July 2011. Endeavour flew some of the more high-profile missions, including flying a Spacelab mission and several International Space Station assembly missions. It also has hooked up with Russia’s Mir Space Station.
The science museum plans to begin displaying Endeavour on October 30.