Monday, October 15, 2012

The Endeavour Crawl


What's black & white, and crawling through Los Angeles at 2 miles per hour?

Hint: Happily, not Robert Downey Jr. in a ski mask on a bender.

 We got volunteers, we got security, e got traffic jams, we got irreverent Shuttle Xing signs, and awesome views of Shuttle Endeavour looking as through she's just pulling into the Del Taco Drive-Thru, no joke. As I've been watching updates on CNN and local California news channels over the past few days, I've seen enthusiasts of all ages hailing the Space Shuttle as she passes through -- and what a gratifying celebration. Why couldn't we have celebrated them this heartily while they were still flying?!

On Saturday, CNN ran a live picture-in-picture on their screen alongside every other news story throughout the day, keeping tabs on the inch-by-inch progress. Yay mainstream media!

The Los Angeles Times invited attendees to upload their personal photographs to a wonderful public parade gallery that grew minute by minute, and Twitter was abuzz for days with every view of the Shuttle imaginable -- along with the requisite "Why Did The Shuttle Cross The Road" jokes.

But even for this last Shuttle huzzah, there's good news, and there's bad news. Endeavour, proceeding 12 miles from LAX to the California Science Center to the tune of 10 million dollars, 400 cut down trees, thousands of excited onlookers, and a few pissed-off residents who didn't appreciate even an historic interruption of their homes and greenery.  We know this caused a lot of trouble for the neighborhoods involved, and we all hope the newly planted 1,000 replacement trees grow quickly.

A few crowd control issues (including spontaneous choruses of the Star-Spangled Banner mid-street) and last-minute branch trimming on the last leg delayed the arrival, but the final celebration at the conclusion of the journey was epic, and still being exhaustively reported on many channels. You'd have to be living in a cave to miss it. Or, maybe just wasting time reading my blog when you could be watching YouTube ;)

So what's next?  Not sure. Certainly, if any damage has been unintentionally sustained during the recent flight or crawl through town, repairs will be quickly undertaken.

CA Science Center is putting the finishing touches on the pavilion that will house Space Shuttle Endeavour, and expecting such huge onslaughts of visitors once she is revealed, they are selling "timed" viewing tickets!  Thus, you can schedule the very hour to visit, and plan your viewing of Endeavour after October 30th.

If you want to support Endeavour's upkeep in her new home, you can also Sponsor a Space Shuttle Tile.