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Space Shuttle Endeavour Will Arrive in L.A. September 20

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Photo by jurvetson via Flickr
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We're getting to be experts here in Los Angeles at moving large objects from one location to another, aren't we? Our transport skills will be put to the test soon when the retired space shuttle Endeavour is taken to its new forever home at the California Science Center, but first up for the shuttle is a rest stop at Los Angeles International Airport next month.

Endeavour will arrive at LAX on September 20, according to City News Service. It will fly in on the back of a NASA-modified Boeing 747. The spacecraft will hang out at the aiport until October 13, which is when the shuttle will be shuttled on city streets to the Science Center.

So how's that going to go down? The "celebratory affair" will be much like the journey of LACMA's "Levitated Mass" boulder, with special accommodations for its girth--in this case, it's Endeavor's 78-foot wingspan. To make the trek, trees will need to be removed or trimmed along the route. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said two trees would be planted for every tree that needs to be removed. Fanfare will include a welcoming ceremony at Inglewood City Hall, and a similar event, produced by dancer/choreographer Debbie Allen, in the Crenshaw area.

A new wing of the Science Center will be built to house the Endeavor, which will be on permanent exhibit. Funding for the construction came from an "extraordinary" donation from the foundation of late businessman and philanthropist Samuel Oschin.

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The Palmdale-built Endeavor made its last landing in Florida in 2011. It was made in 1987 to replace the Challenger, which tragically exploded just after takeoff in 1986. (The late astronaut Sally Ride was part of the team who investigated that accident.)