Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Jan. 31, 1977: A horse and rider watch as the space shuttle Enterprise is towed from Rockwell International's facility in Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base for a year of flight tests.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 18, 1977: The NASA 747 lands at Edwards Air Force Base after a two-hour maiden flight.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

Mar. 8, 1979: The space shuttle Columbia is rolled out of a hangar at the Rockwell International plant in Palmdale for the 38-mile trip to Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

Mar. 8, 1979: The shuttle Columbia is moved through the desert near Lancaster en route to Edwards Air Force Base. From Edwards, Columbia was flown to Cape Kennedy atop a 747 aircraft.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

March 8, 1979: The space shuttle Columbia creeps over back roads from Rockwell International's Palmdale plant to Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

Mar. 8, 1979: People line streets in Lancaster to watch the space shuttle Columbia being towed to Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

March 20, 1979: The space shuttle Columbia, atop a modified 747, leaves Edwards Air Force Base for Florida.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Cal Montney / Los Angeles Times

July 3, 1982: Vendors in the public viewing area at Edwards Air Force Base sell everything from rejected space shuttle tiles to shuttle kites for spectators waiting for the landing of the shuttle Columbia.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

July 1, 1982: The brand new space shuttle Challenger moves through Lancaster en route to Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Fry / Los Angeles Times

March. 28, 1982: Over two miles of vehicles line up along old New Mexico State Highway 52 to get access to White Sands Missile Range for the shuttle Columbia's March 29 landing. High winds delayed the landing until March 30. This was the only shuttle landing at White Sands.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Jan. 30, 1984: The space shuttle Columbia is moved from Edwards Air Force Base back to the Rockwell International plant in Palmdale for upgrades.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 30, 1984: Spectators gather at 10th Street East and Avenue J in Lancaster to view the shuttle.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Mar. 9, 1985: The space shuttle Atlantis is towed along 10th Street East in Lancaster headed toward Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Fry / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 28, 1985: The space shuttle Enterprise slowly makes its way down 13th Street in Santa Barbara en route to Vandenberg Air Force Base to test facilities for future shuttle launches. After the 1986 explosion of the shuttle Challenger, launches from Vandenberg were canceled.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

May 1, 1991: The new space shuttle Endeavour is mounted on a shuttle carrier aircraft before its flight to Florida.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: J. Albert Diaz / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 1, 1991: The space shuttle Atlantis is suspended in the Mate-Demate Device (MDD) at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NASA / NASA

June 6, 2012: The space shuttle Enterprise passes lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center, under construction, as it makes the final leg of its journey by barge to its new home on the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Richard Drew / Associated Press

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Moving space shuttles [updated]

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Moving space shuttles [updated]

Starting with the Enterprise in 1977, space shuttles have been trucked, flown and even barged around the United States. But the Endeavour’s 12-mile move this weekend is through a heavily populated and developed urban landscape. According to this story, “Shuttle’s Journey Across L.A. Is a Vast Challenge in Logistics,” by Kate Mather and Angel Jennings, there is no room for mistakes.

But shuttle moves have never been easy. When the Enterprise was moved on Jan. 31, 1977, Times staff writer Niesen Himmel reported:

The giant space shuttle orbiter vehicle Enterprise, first of five vehicles that will serve as the “freight trucks” of space, made its first trip at an average speed of 3.5 m.p.h. Monday.

The half-spaceship, half-airplane crept through the streets of Palmdale and Lancaster as large crowds assembled at major intersections. The parade-like atmosphere was aided by the presence of several hundred schoolchildren who had been released from school for the occasion.

Lines, poles and traffic signals had been cleared from the way to provide clearance for the orbiter, which towered nearly 60 feet on its trailer.

The orbiter was towed by a truck tractor that had 52 forward gears. Its total length with the truck was 157 feet, and its weight overall was 220,000 pounds.

The entire assemblage was mounted on 90 tires.

It took eight hours and 35 minutes for the 36-mile trip from Rockwell International’s orbital assembly plant at Palmdale to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s research center at Edwards Air Force Base. A special road had to be built through the base to enable the spacecraft to reach the runways.

This photo gallery consists of images from several different shuttle moves.

For more, check out these From the Archive galleries Space shuttle Endeavour 1991-2012 and Space Shuttle pictures 1972-2011.

[Updated: An earlier version of this post had broken links and failed to display photo gallery.]

Related:

Time-lapse video: Endeavour detached from Boeing 747

PHOTOS: Endeavour rolls through L.A. | Endeavour’s Southland flyover | Endeavour 1991-2012

Back story on our photo of Endeavour and the Hollywood sign

Zoomable high-resolution image of Endeavour

PANORAMAS: Endeavour stored in the United hangar | Endeavour arrives in L.A. | Inside the Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

PHOTOS: Endeavour 1991-2012

Order space shuttle Endeavour prints

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