Space Shuttle "Endeavour" In Inglewood

Text and Photos by Armand Vaquer

Above, my first view of Endeavour on Manchester Blvd. in Inglewood.  Photo by Armand Vaquer.
My alarm was set for 2:50 AM, but I woke up about seven minutes before.

I decided to make the trek down to Inglewood, California (about 25 miles away) to view the Space Shuttle Endeavour on Manchester Blvd. as it is being hauled to the California Science Center.

Above, Endeavour is still an impresive sight!  Photo by Armand Vaquer.
It is scheduled to be at a viewing area at the Forum's parking lot at 8:00 this morning, but I heard one of the police in Inglewood say that it is two hours behind schedule.  Endeavour is supposed to arrive at the California Science Center tonight (good luck!).

Above, the crew section of Endeavour.  Photo by Armand Vaquer.
I got down to Inglewood and found that it was nowhere near the Forum.  I located it about 2-3 miles west on Manchester.  I found a parking space (surprisingly fast) in front of Inglewood High School.  Endeavour was about three short blocks west.

Above, the starboard wing.  Photo by Armand Vaquer.
After parking, I walked down Manchester and found that a lot of other people had the same idea.  There were several hundred people there, but they were all orderly and were enjoying seeing a spaceship on a city street.  Several news vans were also there covering the event.

Above, hundreds of thermal tiles under the starboard wing.  Photo by Armand Vaquer.
The shuttle was stopped in the street.  I saw it move only once during the time I was there.  On average, according to news reports, it is supposed to move at about two miles per hour.  It may have been stopped as crews were working to get some power lines out of the way.

Above, the tail section and engines.  Photo by Armand Vaquer.
I was able to get right up close to it.  I stood virtually under its starboard side wing tip.  The rocket engines on Endeavour are dummy ones.  The real ones were removed earlier.  It looks space-worthy yet.

Above, Endeavour drew a good crowd at 3:30 in the morning.  Photo by Armand Vaquer.
It is amazing seeing an object about the size of a Boeing 737 being towed through city streets for sixteen miles.  It is truly one of those "once in a lifetime" kind of events.

I'm glad I went!

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