Many people are trying to find out what will become of space shuttle Endeavor after its dramatic flyover of California on Friday. At the moment, the shuttle is temporarily placed at a United Airlines hangar atand will remain there till October 12, after which it will start its journey across the boulevards of Inglewood and Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center's Samuel Oschin Display Pavilion.
The decision to place it at the pavilion has become the latest subject of debate among many people, as many trees and traffic lights will have to be removed from the streets.
The road trip in early October to the California Science Center is going to be a tough one. Some residents along the route have already objected to the cutting down of some 400 trees to make room for the five-story-high shuttle with a 78-foot wingspan.
Endeavor’s transportation was quite an achievement and a big deal too, as it was carried on top of Boeing 747. When the shuttle safely reached the hangar, a welcoming ceremony hosted by "Star Trek" actress Nichelle Nichols took place. The actress said, "What a momentous day this has been,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The event was attended by various people including Jeffery N. Rudolph, who has been a longtime president of the science center, the free state-run museum near downtown L.A. He said, "Welcome Endeavour. Welcome to California.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was also present at the welcoming ceremony. He said it was an honor and privilege to welcome home this crown jewel of the space fleet. Since the shuttle has to pass from Inglewood, the mayor of Inglewood, James T. Butts, also talked about the arrival and transportation of the shuttle. He said, "I tell them, quite simply, 'Because this is history,'" adding that the spacecraft will stay at the museum for hundreds of years and "long after we're gone," museum visitors will admire Endeavor and "share the same feeling of pride that we do."
Space shuttle Endeavor is one of the retired orbiters of the Space Shuttle Program of NASA. Endeavor was the fifth and final NASA space shuttle to be built, constructed as a replacement for Challenger. This space shuttle’s first mission started in 1992 and the last time it flew was in May 2011.