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Endeavour won't do SCV fly-over

Space shuttle fans can view craft at Los Angeles-area landmarks

Posted: September 20, 2012 6:21 p.m.
Updated: September 20, 2012 6:21 p.m.

Space Shuttle Endeavour mounted on NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft lands at Edwards Air Force Base on Thursday.

Endeavour completes the last leg of its trip to Los Angeles Friday, leaving Edwards Air Force Base and flying over the Antelope Valley, but Santa Clarita Valley residents won’t glimpse the space shuttle unless they leave the area, a NASA official said Thursday.

“That’s probably a hard one — it’s not going to be too close,” NASA spokesman Kevin Rohrer said when asked where Santa Clarita Valley residents can go to see the historic last trip of Endeavour.

However, there are a number of viewing spots in the Antelope Valley or Los Angeles area, Rohrer said.

Endeavour’s final flight — its eventual destination is the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles — represents a sad end of a great era for science in America, according to one science teacher.

Mounted on top of a Boeing 747, Endeavour will criss-cross California on its aerial farewell tour at about 1,500 feet, according to officials. The trip represents not only the shuttle’s last flight, but a change in NASA priorities away from manned space flights, one observer said.

“I think it’s an extraordinary thing that’s happening, and it’s a sad thing that’s happening, as well,” said Matthew Pearce, a former West Ranch science teacher who is involved in a NASA program for educators.

“I hated to see the shuttle fleet go. It’s an American icon,” he said.

Endeavour is scheduled to leave Edwards at 8:15 a.m., Rohrer said.

“It’ll make a fly-over of (Boeing) Plant 42 in Palmdale, where the shuttle was assembled,” he said. “And then it will continue some fly-overs in the Antelope Valley, including Lancaster and Rosamond.”

After its A.V. swing the shuttle will head north, flying over the Capitol, the Golden Gate Bridge and a few other landmarks, Rohrer said. The return trip south will follow Pacific Coast Highway at a normal cruising altitude.

“About an hour before landing, it’ll be approaching the Greater Los Angeles Basin,” said Rohrer.

“It will fly over Universal Studios, Disneyland, California Science Center, a circle around downtown, and then eventually land at LAX,” he said. The arrival time is expected to be around 12:15 p.m., but the weather could change that.

Once at the airport, the shuttle will undergo maintenance before it is transported by road to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

“I’m excited that it’s going to be down at the Science Center,” Pearce said. “Everyone’s going to get a chance to see that and everyone should take a chance to see that. It’s a statement about our generation and a testament to our nation’s greatness.”




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