Tuesday, September 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Shuttle inches toward retirement home

Space shuttle Endeavour passes by spectators on Crenshaw Drive in Inglewood. Endeavour's 12-mile road trip kicked off shortly before midnight Thursday as it moved from its Los Angeles International Airport hangar to the California Science Center.  AP photo

By
From page A2 | October 14, 2012 |

LOS ANGELES (AP) — At every turn of Endeavour’s stop-and-go commute through urban streets, a constellation of spectators trailed along as the space shuttle ploddingly nosed past stores, schools, churches and front yards.

Having escaped out of Earth’s atmosphere two dozen times, Endeavour’s slow-speed trek Saturday to its retirement center took it through the working class streets of southern Los Angeles.

In an instant, the shuttle crossings became part of history.

Along the 12-mile course, people marveled at the engineering. Some rooted for Endeavour when it appeared it might clip a lightpost. Others wondered if it could just hurry up to its destination.

Crowds gathered in front of lnglewood High School before sunrise Saturday to watch Endeavour roll by at about 2 mph. Many were bundled up sipping coffee.

Dean Martinez, who lives in Los Angeles but works in Inglewood, came with his wife and 9-year-old daughter.

“This is great for the city as a whole. It makes us proud,” said Martinez, a project director for a nonprofit whose family took turns taking pictures of one another as the shuttle slowly inched by.

Added his wife, Marcia, “It’s a big deal especially for this neighborhood. It’s important to witness history and for our children to experience it.”

Endeavour was scheduled to inch into the California Science Center late Saturday to spend the rest of its years as a museum piece.

Before it did, the shuttle made a late-morning pit stop at the Forum, where it was greeted in the arena’s parking lot by a throng of cheering spectators. After crawling up Crenshaw Boulevard, the shuttle was scheduled to stop for a bit at the intersection with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. A celebration was planned, including speeches by politicians and a dance performance choreographed by Debbie Allen.

Endeavour hit the pavement before dawn Friday, trundling out of the Los Angeles International Airport on a remote-controlled 160-wheel carrier past diamond-shaped “Shuttle Xing” signs. The first day of the move was punctuated by long idle spells as crews reconfigured the carrier and leapfrogged ahead on the route to hoist power lines and dismantle traffic lights and street signs.

The pace picked up Friday night when the five-story-tall shuttle was towed over a freeway overpass by a truck (The mated shuttle and carrier were too heavy for that section.) Next to the freeway, Randy’s Donuts roadside sign, featured in movies such as “Iron Man 2,” landed another cameo as a shuttle backdrop.

There were bumps in the road. Several hundred Inglewood residents suffered hours-long outages when power lines were temporarily snipped. Some businesses lost customers because of street and sidewalk closures.

For most of the way, Endeavour straddled wide boulevards — Manchester, Crenshaw, Martin Luther King Jr. The one exception was when the shuttle poked through a slightly curved residential street lined with apartment buildings on both sides. It was such a squeeze that its 78-foot wingspan towered over driveways.

John Wilkes, 69, a longtime Inglewood resident, woke up five hours earlier than usual to stake out a spot.

“This is definitely a treat,” said Wilkes, who is retired from the airline industry. “But what would be a better treat is to be able to take a ride on the shuttle.”

As it wound through South Los Angeles, residents welcomed its presence. Before the move, some lamented over the loss of shade as trees were chopped down to provide clearance.

When Endeavour rolls down King Boulevard, special attention will be paid to the pine trees planted in honor of the slain civil rights leader.

Endeavour may have circled the globe nearly 4,700 times, but its roots are grounded in California. Its main engines were fabricated in the San Fernando Valley. The heat tiles were invented in Silicon Valley. Its “fly-by-wire” technology was developed in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey.

It’s no longer shiny and sleek like when it first rolled off the assembly line in the Mojave Desert in 1991 to replace the lost Challenger. As it cruised block-by-block, it’s hard to miss what 123 million miles in space and two dozen re-entries can do to the exterior.

“You can sense the magnitude of where it’s been,” said Janet Dion, a family therapist from Manhattan Beach, fixating on the heat tiles that protected the shuttle during the return to Earth.

Shuffling Endeavour through city streets was a laborious undertaking — nearly a year in the making. It could not be taken apart without damaging the delicate tiles. Airlifting it was out of the question. So was driving on freeways since it was too massive to fit through underpasses.

“This is unlike anything we’ve ever moved before,” said Jim Hennessy, a spokesman for Sarens, the contract mover.

Once movers settled on the route, the neighborhoods with a front-row seat were transformed. Some 400 trees were cleared with the promise of replanting later. Telephone, cable and power lines were lifted sky-high. Chunks of steel plates were laid down to prevent the streets from buckling and to protect underground utilities.

It’ll take days or weeks before a sense of normalcy is restored. In the case of the trees, it’ll be years before the newly planted grow to adult height.

Such a move is not cheap. The cross-town transport was estimated at $10 million, to be paid for by the science center and private donations.

Endeavour’s transport followed other shuttle moves. Earlier this year, Discovery taxied to the Smithsonian’s annex hangar in Virginia. The prototype Enterprise was pulled by barge to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.

Next month, Atlantis, which remained at its Cape Canaveral, Fla., home base, will be towed short distance to the Kennedy Space Center visitor’s lobby.

————

By Alicia Chang, AP science writer. Follow her at http://twitter.com/SciWriAlicia. Associated Press Writer Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this story.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Poppenga outlines ambitious agenda

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cool Davis Festival is très chill

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Man on a mission: Rob White seeks to transform Davis

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Find the perfect club or organization to join

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C2 | Gallery

 
Forum examines Props. 1 and 2 on November ballot

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Assembly candidates will be at Woodland forum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

California approves landmark ‘yes means yes’ law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
TSA bomb training may be noisy

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Try out basic yoga on Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
DCC welcomes students with free lunch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Gibson House hosts plant sale and garden event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
UCD, University College Dublin will cooperate on food, health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Accessibility technology on exhibit at fair

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Covell Gardens breakfast benefits Komen Foundation

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Put your hoes down and celebrate the harvest

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Panelists discuss raising children with special needs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

DCC hosts fair-trade gift sale on Oct. 11

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Emerson gives away old textbooks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Number of wheels: How many bicycles do you have in your household?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C5 | Gallery

 
Fraud Awareness Fair set Oct. 15 in West Sac

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Downtown history tour planned in October

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
DMTC makes musical theater accessible to everyone

By Bev Sykes | From Page: C9 | Gallery

 
Take home a wreath from Davis Flower Arrangers’ meeting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Snapshot: A night out with the neighbors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C10

 
Davis school names reflect interesting history

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: C12

Snapshot: Plenty of places to park it

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C14

 
Snapshot: Dive into Davis fun

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C15

Snapshot: Kick garbage to the curb

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C16

 
Snapshot: Sounds like a party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C17

.

Forum

He seems happy at home

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
The great bedtime conspiracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

They’re best-prepared to lead

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Vibrant and hard-working

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Archer has the right stuff

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Get on your bikes to meet Davis’ greenhouse gas goals

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Marsh case shows need for ‘Maupin’s Law’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

.

Sports

‘Playoff game’ or missed chance? Either way the Aggies move on

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils move atop league standings with win

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Only 15 months out of UCD, Runas off to LPGA Tour

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis golfers get teaching moments in forfeit win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Two Junior Blue Devil squads emerge victorious

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
.

Features

.

Arts

I-House film series continues with ‘Monsieur Lazhar’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Pleasant Valley Boys cool down Picnic in the Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

‘Art Farm’ exhibition will open in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Acclaimed guitarist Peppino D’Agostino to play The Palms

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9

 
Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Michael Allen Hanks Baxter

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7