If you haven’t been paying attention, the California Science Center won the bid to house the Space Shuttle Endeavour in a brand new exhibit that will share the geeky awesomeness of space travel and exploration with kids and adults for years to come. To get the shuttle from Florida to LA, they strapped it to the top of a modified 747 and ferried it here. But the shuttle could not be a true Angelino without some showboating – so its path to LA was not linear, but it sidetracked and flew over some important landmarks to commemorate the occasion. On Friday, Sacramento, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Universal Studios, Griffith Observatory, Disneyland, JPL (to name a few) and all of us under the pathway Endeavour took to get to these points, had the wonderful opportunity to catch a (final) glimpse of a shuttle in “flight”.
I saw some comments on Facebook that “its JUST a phone” or “its JUST a shuttle”, and I’ll agree with you on the phone part…but its not JUST a shuttle. The space program, as we know it, no longer exists. The Endeavour was the fifth and final space shuttle ever built and went on 25 missions to space. 25 MISSIONS!! There will be no more shuttles like Endeavour built. Maybe this is just the end of the space program as it exists now? Virgin Galactic is offering private space travel so that anyone with the money can travel to space with other billionaires. Maybe the next frontier is Mars and we will begin sending astronauts there? Who knows, but this is a very exciting time for LA to have a piece of national and scientific history in our beautiful city.
I can’t wait for the exhibit to open a few years from now! Being an astronaut was on my list of things to do when I grew up, as I am sure it was for many of you. Obviously I’m not in space now (haha can you imagine yoga in space!?) but this exhibit will let us all pretend for a few hours.
Here are my videos from the fly over. I promise you, it looked much larger in person, which will explain some of my excitement. I was checking twitter incessantly, waiting for location updates as to where the shuttle was in real time. Funny how one of NASA’s most watched “missions” was most easily followed on Twitter.
I will leave you with some fun facts about Endeavour:
1) a total of 154 crew members called Endeavour home
2) Endeavour spent 296 days, 3 hours, 34 minutes, 2 seconds in space
3) The shuttle orbited earth a total of 4,671 times
4) In the 25 missions, Endeavour traveled a total of 122,883,151 mi