The Space Shuttle Down the Street

Endeavour makes a hulking, halting trip through Los Angeles.

Perhaps more than anything else, Endeavour reminds us that even the most jaded can still get excited about space. This weekend, the gigantic ship crawled 12 miles through the Los Angeles to its final resting spot at the California Science Center. As the Los Angeles Times' architecture critic wrote:

In a city supposedly obsessed with the fake, more comfortable with re-created or exaggerated than authentic spectacle, people relished seeing the real shuttle — scratched, dented and otherwise beat up by millions of miles of space travel — up close.

In a city blasé about celebrity and bold-faced names, watching this huge snub-nosed object with the words "Endeavour" and "United States" stamped on its side in sleek, sans-serif black type was enough to prompt cheers, whistles, screams, shouts and even tears.

And perhaps most dramatic of all: In a city whose residents are accused of disdaining public space, the orbiter's tour led Angelenos to crowd sidewalks 10 or 12 deep as well as drawing thousands of people who live north of the 10 Freeway to boulevards south of it. It packed gas stations and strip-mall parking lots with crowds.

Here are a few pictures of Endeavour's last journey. See (many, many!) more photos over at The Atlantic's In Focus blog.

Endeavour stops in front of Randy's Donuts on Manchester Avenue while being moved from Los Angeles International Airport to its retirement home at the California Science Center in Exposition Park, on October 12, 2012. (Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)
Endeavour makes its way from Westchester square to Randy's Donuts during its final ground journey in Los Angeles, on October 12, 2012. (Reuters/Joe Klamar)
Endeavour during its final ground journey in Los Angeles, on October 12, 2012.

(Reuters/Joe Klamar)

Crowds of people watch as Endeavour is transported on Manchester Blvd. while being moved to its retirement home at the California Science Center in Exposition Park, on October 12, 2012.

(Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)

 

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.