NPR : News

Filed Under:

Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Journey Adds A Day

Update 10/14/12 10:08 a.m. ET: The Excitement Has Passed, But Not The Shuttle

The crowds that cheered the shuttle on Saturday changed their tune after a night of hassles that left the Endeavour still blocking L.A. traffic and threatening trees early Sunday morning.

The Endeavour was supposed to be tucked into its new home, the California Science Center, on Saturday. Now, it's expected to arrive sometime this morning. The AP explains the problems the shuttle has encountered:

"The problems included longer than expected maintenance of the rig carrying the shuttle and physical obstacles within the shuttle's wingspan including light posts, building edges, and most of all trees.

"In a scene that repeated itself many times, a small tree on the narrowest section of the move brought the procession to a stop, forcing crews to find creative ways to dip a wing under or raise it over the tree without having to cut it down."

The AP says the enthusiastic crowds that greeted the shuttle on its journey over the last couple days have dwindled. Our Newscast desk is even reporting some booing.

Our Original Post Continues:

The space shuttle Endeavour picked its way through the streets of Los Angeles on Saturday, creeping slowly toward its final resting place at the California Science Center.

As NPR's Alison Keyes told our Newscast desk, folks in L.A. are used to celebrities, but today's star got an over-the-top welcome:

"People — cameras and children in tow — are lining the streets as the five-story-tall Endeavour with its 78-foot wingspan winds along its journey at a top speed of 2 miles an hour."

"Streetlights and some power lines had to be moved, and a few trees trimmed in residential neighborhoods as the shuttle rolled by — making occasional stops for throngs of spectators."

The shuttle began its 12-mile journey on Friday, starting out from LAX and passing some of Hollywood's most iconic scenery, including Randy's Donuts, a well-known shop featured in films including 2010's Iron Man 2.

At one literally high point Friday evening, the shuttle rolled across the 405 Freeway on a narrow overpass. The L.A. Times has a video of the crossing and also pays a little respect to the single Toyota Tundra that tugged the shuttle to the other side:

"The Toyota Tundra pulled a total of 292,000 pounds, which includes the weight of the yellow frame supporting Endeavour's belly, officials said. The company said Toyota had tested its Tundra three times leading up to the moment."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Lisa Lucas Takes The Reins At The National Book Foundation

Lucas is the third executive director in the history of the foundation, which runs the National Book Awards. Her priority? Inclusivity: "Everyone is either a reader or a potential reader," she says.
NPR

The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now)

Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
WAMU 88.5

The Latest on the Military, Political and Humanitarian Crises in Syria

Russia continues airstrikes in Syria. Secretary Kerry meets with world leaders in an attempt to resolve the country’s five-year civil war. A panel joins Diane to discuss the latest on the military, political and humanitarian crises facing Syria.

NPR

Twitter Tries A New Kind Of Timeline By Predicting What May Interest You

Twitter has struggled to attract new users. Its latest effort at rejuvenation is a new kind of timeline that predicts which older posts you might not want to miss and displays them on top.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.