Built to replace the space shuttle Challenger, Endeavour, first launched on May 7, 1992, completed 25 flights until retirement in 2011. The decommissioned Endeavour is being transferred to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
In an Aug. 9, 2012, story, Times staff writer Kate Mather reported:
In its 25 missions spanning nearly two decades, the space shuttle Endeavour circled the Earth more than 4,600 times, spending a total of 299 days in space.
It carried the crews that assembled the first U.S. component of the International Space Station, and would go on to dock at the station a dozen times. By the time Endeavour completed its last mission a year ago, the shuttle had logged nearly 123 million miles beyond Earth.
But the shuttle’s final journey — a measly 12 miles — might just be its most memorable.
Officials Wednesday unveiled some of the details surrounding the 170,000-pound shuttle’s carefully coordinated move from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to its permanent home at the California Science Center in Exposition Park. After arriving at LAX on the back of a Boeing 747, the shuttle will make a two-day trek through the streets of Los Angeles, the first time a space shuttle has been moved through the heart of a city.
“In six weeks, Endeavour is coming back home to California,” California Science Center president Jeffrey Rudolph said at a news conference Wednesday. “This will mark the first, last and only time a space shuttle will travel through 12 miles of urban public streets. It’s not only one of the biggest objects transported down city streets, it’s an irreplaceable national treasure.”
Additional From the Archive space shuttle galleries: