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Mon, Nov 21, 2011

Getting A Shuttle Down The Street

Retired Orbiter To Be Towed Through LA Streets To Its Museum Home

It is somewhat slower than space shuttle Endeavour was designed to travel, and might even be a bit slower than the crawler speed that used to carry the orbiter to launch complex 39A. At some point next year, the retired spacecraft will be towed through the streets of Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center.

Endeavour's Final Landing NASA Image

KCET's SoCal Magazine program produced a report estimating that Endeavour's final journey ... about 14 miles ... will take about 13 hours. And the logistics of getting the orbiter to the museum are already being planned.

The principal issue is the spacecraft's size. She has a wingspan of 78 feet, and the height of the vertical stabilizer ... nearly 60 feet above street level ... will require the city to temporarily take down some overhead wires to allow the shuttle to pass.

All that is included in the projected price tag for the move ... about $28 million ... which includes the decommissioning of the spacecraft. Los Angeles is spending $170 million on construction of a new wing for the Science Center to house the exhibit. And it's a process that will have to be duplicated in Washington, D.C., Cape Canaveral, FL, and New York City.

FMI: www.lacity.org, www.nasa.gov

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