Crowds had lined the streets of Los Angeles all day to witness the Endeavour space shuttle’s inching journey to the Science Center — it was sloooow going
The space shuttle Endeavour got stuck in downtown Los Angeles on its way to its final home at the California Science Center on Saturday, making a slow-go journey of the iconic spacecraft even slower.
Crowds had lined the streets of Los Angeles all day to witness the shuttle’s inching, 12-mile crawl to the Science Center in Exposition Park.
Powerlines were lifted and hundreds of trees had been removed or trimmed to make way for the shuttle’s 78-foot wing span. The shuttle journey went slower than expected all day, but by 7 p.m. it came to a halt as apparently some trees were still in the way.
Endeavour got underway again shortly thereafter, but was not expected to arrive at the Science Center until about 5 a.m., a half-day later than planned, according to local media reports.
The space shuttle, retired after 25 space missions, had been making its way on Friday and Saturday through the streets of Los Angeles on a celebratory journey to the California Science Center.
The 12-mile route included major thoroughfares and nearly 2,700 steel plates were placed on streets to better distribute Endeavour’s 75-ton weight and protect the city's infrastructure underneath.
NASA retired Endeavour and the rest of its shuttle fleet last year after completing the U.S. portion of the $100 billion International Space Station, a permanently staffed research complex orbiting 250 miles above Earth.
The winged spaceship was ferried by a modified Boeing 747, and landed at Los Angeles International Airport last week.
The California-made shuttle was built as a replacement for Challenger, which was lost in a 1986 explosion that killed seven astronauts. Endeavour went on to fly 25 missions, including 12 to help build and outfit the space station, and logged nearly 123 million miles in flight during 4,671 orbits.
Reuters contributed to this report