It’s no longer shiny and sleek, like when it first rolled off the assembly line in the Mojave Desert in 1991 to replace the lost Challenger. As it cruised block-by-block, it’s hard to miss what 123 million miles in space and two dozen re-entries can do to the exterior.
Shuffling Endeavour through city streets was a laborious undertaking — nearly a year in the making. It could not be taken apart without damaging the delicate tiles. Airlifting it was out of the question. So was driving on freeways since it was too massive to fit through underpasses.
There were consequences. Several hundred Inglewood residents suffered hours-long outages when power lines were temporarily snipped. Some businesses lost customers because of street and sidewalk closures.
Such a move is not cheap. The cross-town transport was estimated at $10 million, to be paid for by the science center and private donations.
Associated Press writer Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this story.
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