The nation's most glamorous space shuttle is coming home! California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph just announced that the Endeavour, a gorgeous Palmdale native with a 78-foot wingspan, will be returning to its area of birth on September 20, barring weather or other issues.
To give Endeavour a proper, SNL-style California welcome after all those years adventuring the universe with Gabby Giffords' husband (but mostly just chilling patiently at the International Space Station)…
… let's all obsess over its exact route to the Science Center!
Come October 13, according to City News Service, the massive space beast will “leave LAX along Westchester Parkway, head northeast on La Tijera Boulevard, then east on Manchester Boulevard, north on Crenshaw Boulevard and east on West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the Science Center.” (Where it belongs.)
Daily Breeze reporter Art Marroquin, who's at the Science Center press conference right now, quotes L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as saying: “Moving the Endeavour will be a marvel of wonder and ingenuity.”
An expensive one, at that. According to City News Service, city transportation engineer Aram Sahakian said in May that the 13-mile trip across Los Angeles would cost millions of dollars, and require crews to “possibly temporarily dismantle several hundred traffic signals and overhead street signs.” (He promised the City Council that they'd be reimbursed for the fiasco.)
Marroquin reports that trees will also have to be removed from the route — but that for every one cut down, two will go up in its place.
Parties and viewing events will reportedly be set up all along the route. In light of all thatv pride 'n' cheer, best quote of the press conference comes via Inglewood Mayor James Butts:
“Space exploration events are like the Olympics; everyone just feels good,” Inglewood Mayor James Butts said.
— Art Marroquin (@Newsvato) August 8, 2012
Update, 10 a.m.: More from our trusty Daily Breeze reporter: The Endeavour will fly into LAX on the back of a jetliner, where it will be removed “with cranes and a giant sling” and stored in a United hangar until moving day. The shuttle will travel across L.A. at about 2 mph, bringing its total trip time to six or seven hours (by our calculation). City officials will reportedly have to remove 212 traffic signals and street lights to make way for Her Highness, as well as some utility lines.
Beat that, LACMA rock.