Space shuttle Endeavour rolls into history

Space shuttle retires after flying 25 missions at California Science Center where it will go on permanent display.

    Space shuttle Endeavour rolls into history
    Endeavour was largely built in southern California and was a workhorse of the US space programme [Reuters]

    The retired space shuttle Endeavour has rolled into its retirement home at a museum, in the conclusion of a slow-motion parade through the narrow streets of Los Angeles.

    Endeavour arrived at about 10:45am local time on Sunday at Exposition Park, the site of the California Science Center where the shuttle will go on permanent display on October 30 inside a pavilion.

    "I'm so glad to be living to see this," said Los Angeles native Shirley Green, 78, who was on hand, wearing an American flag scarf, to watch the shuttle arrive at its new home.

    Endeavour nosed out of Los Angeles International Airport before dawn on Friday for the 19km journey to its retirement home.

    Organisers had expected the shuttle to complete its journey by Saturday evening but it fell behind schedule as crews had to make late adjustments to clear room for it.

    The shuttle, which prompted cheers and expressions of awe from spectators as it inched through the city's streets, will become a tourist attraction at the center.

    Endeavour was largely built in southern California and was a workhorse of the US space programme, flying 25 missions.

    The trip was delayed in part due to maintenance needed for the massive, wheeled transporter that carried Endeavour and to trim some trees along the route, organisers said.

    Endeavour flew from 1992 to 2011 and was built to replace the Challenger, which exploded seconds into a 1986 launch in a mishap that killed all seven crew members on board.

    It was taken out of service at the end of the shuttle programme.

    The shuttle is 122ft long and 78ft wide and stands five stories tall at the tail, which police said makes it the largest object ever to move through Los Angeles.

     Its combined weight with the transporter was 80 tonnes.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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