Music credit: “Keeper of the Wind” by Eleni Hassabis from FirstCom Music
[UPDATED – Sunday, October 14, 2012] – Planners appeared to get the engineering right but not the timing. What began as a head start in the morning turned into an ever-increasing delay by night. As crowds waited along the route, officials said the shuttle would be several hours late to its destination, probably arriving sometime Sunday morning.
Endeavour’s 26th and final mission came down to sweating the details. Engineers had mapped its route and possible obstructions down to the millimeter. Crews swarmed around the spacecraft like a court of handmaidens Saturday, taking down streetlights and signs, removing power lines and trimming trees.
The 12-mile route, which includes major thoroughfares such as Manchester, Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards, looks radically different than it did months ago. Power lines have been lifted and trees have been removed. Nearly 2,700 steel plates were placed on streets to better distribute Endeavour’s weight and protect the century-old infrastructure underneath.