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Endeavour
October 16, 2012 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Time-lapse video of space shuttle Endeavour's journey through Los Angeles from the Los Angeles Times.
posted by grouse (45 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
200,000 miles to the Moon: 3 days
12 miles in L.A. traffic: 3 days
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:09 AM on October 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


I've always been a fan of space exploration, but I'm very disappointed they couldn't think of a way to get it there that didn't involve cutting down hundreds of trees.
posted by aught at 9:10 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Hey! You can't park that here!"

"We're not parking it. We're abandoning it."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:11 AM on October 16, 2012


The fact that I held my breath every time it took a corner, like it was going to take out a light post and/or clip the wing (and somehow I hadn't heard about that already), says something -- either about the power of video, my love of the space shuttle, or something lots less flattering.

Still though, I'm glad it made it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:12 AM on October 16, 2012


If you watch the slideshow, there are a few places (1:24 for example) where they work the shuttle around trees and other obstacles, sometimes with only a few inches to spare.

Given that, I have to assume that any trees cut down were necessary and no good alternatives existed.

Also, Toyota somehow won the privilege of towing the Endeavour using a stock Tundra.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:15 AM on October 16, 2012


1. They successfully avoided at least one tree.
2. The U.S. flag looks funny backwards.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:15 AM on October 16, 2012


I listened with the sound off, but in my mind it was Yakety Sax all the way.
posted by yoink at 9:20 AM on October 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wish I could simply admire the logistical feat of moving this giant thing through the streets of LA. But then I come back to this tweet from @bldgblog: "A man has ascended to 128,000 feet in a space balloon and the Space Shuttle is parked in front of a noodle shop in Los Angeles."

Then I remember just two months ago NASA put Curiosity on Mars and I get happy about the triumph of space engineering again.
posted by Nelson at 9:23 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, watching it amble down that (relatively) little residential street has to be the most surreal thing I've ever seen.

Question for Angelenos: Was their really no wider boulevard they could maneuver it through, or did they just do it for shits and giggles? (which I'm not necessarily opposed to, cuz' why not?)
posted by dry white toast at 9:28 AM on October 16, 2012


NASA > Red Bull
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 9:36 AM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Very nice. I would hope someone has archived some traffic reports from the journey: "Well, Jim, we have traffic moving steadily on the Long Beach Freeway and the 110, a jackknifed tractor trailer in the eastbound lanes on 105 near Woodruff, so you will want to avoid that, it's stop-and-go on the Pacific Coast Highway, and we're seeing a major backup in Huntington Park because of a space shuttle. That's your traffic on the fives, here on KFMU."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:44 AM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Doesn't work for me? Dang.

I still don't understand how LA and NYC got shuttles, but Houston and Columbus did not.
posted by notsnot at 9:48 AM on October 16, 2012


I loved the snide commentary in the NYT article:

But for all the excitement that the shuttle’s arrival has engendered here — this city, considered a cultural also-ran by many, is now home to one of only four retired NASA space shuttles — actually moving the Endeavour through the dense streets has hardly been as smooth as the space shuttle Enterprise’s float up the Hudson River in New York.

Yeah, LA. You're a total cultural backwater other than those little movie, TV, and music industries. You get all worked up over some stupid thing like a space shuttle, we see twelve of those in Manhattan every day. It's not like your city was the capital of the aerospace industry when the shuttle was designed, it's not like Nasa's largest and most famous laboratory is in your backyard. And even though you have a puny little science museum, it's not accessible by water so it's practically useless. All four Shuttles should rightfully be in New York. One for each borough, excluding Staten Island. Because that place is almost as podunk as LA.
posted by miyabo at 9:49 AM on October 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


I would hope someone has archived some traffic reports from the journey

One of the radio stations was running bumpers between songs while the shuttle was in storage at the airport...

"Is the space shuttle still stuck at LAX? Man, that airport sucks."
posted by hwyengr at 9:55 AM on October 16, 2012


Was their really no wider boulevard they could maneuver it through, or did they just do it for shits and giggles? (which I'm not necessarily opposed to, cuz' why not?)

Well they could have taken Las Palmas

And then over to Colorado

And Colorado down to Pico

And that's how they'd get to llama school Exposition Park
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:00 AM on October 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hope there is a tilt-shift version somewhere.
posted by Jehan at 10:19 AM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


but I'm very disappointed they couldn't think of a way to get it there that didn't involve cutting down hundreds of trees.

The only way to have done that would be to cut the wings off of the shuttle. The route they did take, up Crenshaw Blvd., was the old Pacific Electric right of way. Those trees were planted after the streetcar rails were removed and the right of way turned into a boulevard. So while they are still older trees, its not like cutting down native redwoods.
posted by hwyengr at 10:21 AM on October 16, 2012


If you have a recent iOS device running iOS 6 you can go into the Maps app and if you navigate to 12th Avenue and West 46th St in Manhattan you'll be able to see the Enterprise on the deck of the USS Intrepid. Drop into 3D mode and you can rotate around it.
posted by Talez at 10:23 AM on October 16, 2012


in my mind it was Yakety Sax all the way

You're welcome
posted by Conductor71 at 10:28 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


aught: "I've always been a fan of space exploration, but I'm very disappointed they couldn't think of a way to get it there that didn't involve cutting down hundreds of trees."

You know, I'm pretty sure that my city would have flat-out rejected the shuttle if it required killing that many trees in residential neighborhoods. There are few things that affect the perceived quality of an urban area as strongly as a good tree canopy does.

No more than a quarter of those 1,000 trees that were replanted will live long enough to replace the trees that were cut down. This is a big problem for cities, and unless the city/museum pledged funds to maintain those trees, replant ones that don't survive past their first year, or ensure sufficient watering into adulthood, it's going to result in a significant net loss of tree coverage.
posted by schmod at 10:34 AM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Talez: "If you have a recent iOS device running iOS 6 you can go into the Maps app and if you navigate to 12th Avenue and West 46th St in Manhattan you'll be able to see the Enterprise on the deck of the USS Intrepid. Drop into 3D mode and you can rotate around it."

AHA! There's the use case for iOS Maps!
posted by schmod at 10:34 AM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I still don't understand how LA and NYC got shuttles, but Houston and Columbus did not.

New York is probably just a population thing. But LA, as mentioned earlier, was the capital of the aerospace industry. The shuttle was assembled in Palmdale, designed by who knows how many companies around Los Angeles, and Edwards was the primary backup landing site.

Hell, I felt STS-128 returning to Edwards from my office in downtown LA. I was hoping to catch a glimpse, but it was a pretty overcast day. My face was plastered to the glass, trying to see what I could, when I felt two quick sequential pulses from the sonic boom vibrating the windows.

This town is more than Lindsey Lohan and TMZ, you know.
posted by hwyengr at 10:47 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still don't understand how LA and NYC got shuttles, but Houston and Columbus did not.

Houston has the Space Shuttle Explorer mockup at the Johnson Space Centre.

And Columbus? A disproportionate number of people were willing to sit on tanks of rocket fuel and be pushed by a controlled explosion into a vast void to get away from Ohio. Sending a shuttle there just seems cruel.
posted by Talez at 10:56 AM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]



If you have a recent iOS device running iOS 6 you can go into the Maps app and if you navigate to 12th Avenue and West 46th St in Manhattan you'll be able to see the Enterprise on the deck of the USS Intrepid. Drop into 3D mode and you can rotate around it

Does it look good or is it sort of all melty like the other things in Maps?
posted by DrSawtooth at 10:57 AM on October 16, 2012


Does it look good or is it sort of all melty like the other things in Maps?

Here's a screenshot with a Concorde in the background for good measure.
posted by Talez at 11:01 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh.
posted by DrSawtooth at 11:03 AM on October 16, 2012


People complaining about slightly melty skins automatically wrapped around 3D models of cities made from photographs and data taken from space (or is it air?) and displayed on practically wafer thin handheld devices with amazing displays and Internet access wherever you go that also hold thousands of songs, books, and movies make me feel really old.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:07 AM on October 16, 2012


People complaining about slightly melty skins automatically wrapped around 3D models of cities made from photographs and data taken from space (air?) and displayed on a practically wafer thin handheld devices with amazing displays and Internet access wherever you go that also hold thousands of songs, books, and movies make me feel really old.

I'm still amazed that I can get Netflix wirelessly from a Wii. Doesn't mean I can't get annoyed when the thing occasionally cuts out, or when my autonomous robot-manservants burn the toast.

Anywho, enough of that and back to the Shuttle.
posted by DrSawtooth at 11:13 AM on October 16, 2012


Nobody walks in L.A.
posted by zuhl at 11:17 AM on October 16, 2012


hwyengr: "I still don't understand how LA and NYC got shuttles, but Houston and Columbus did not.

New York is probably just a population thing. But LA, as mentioned earlier, was the capital of the aerospace industry. The shuttle was assembled in Palmdale, designed by who knows how many companies around Los Angeles, and Edwards was the primary backup landing site.
"

I don't think so - if historical ties to the aerospace program were important, then Houston would have received a shuttle. The report on the shuttle placement claims that the primary consideration was locating the Orbiters in places where the most people would have the opportunity to view them.

Dayton did get screwed, though, since in the final analysis they should have been tied with LA and NYC for a shuttle, but due to a "mistake" they were scored an 80 instead of the 85 the other sites received.
posted by dd42 at 11:18 AM on October 16, 2012


I live 10 blocks from the shuttle route(I walked to go see it), and for all the fuss about tree cutting, it's worth mentioning that the route the shuttle took is not the nice, white, high-taxpayer-dollar part of town(it's predominantly black working-to-middle class with a recent hispanic influx. a cop told me and my husband last year that we were the only white/asian couple in the precinct.). Anyway, the people that tend to make an large outcry about trees, especially the ones that are particularly good at it($), are not the same people that live in my neighbourhood.

I was walking down Crenshaw Blvd. on Sunday, and it was certainly the most white people ever seen on the Slauson/Crenshaw intersection at one time. An elderly woman in a polo shirt, shorts, and camera equipment worth more than my monthly mortgage grinned at me and said sarcastically "Come down here often?" probably expecting me to make some conspiratorial comment about the shitty neighbourhood or the fascinating new world that opens up when you venture past the west side. "I live here. It's a nice neighbourhood," I said. "Oh," she said.

At the pop-up pupuseria in a tent next to a concrete church where I had lunch, I stood next to two frat boy broish types that marveled at the elderly Mexican church ladies making pupusas, using words like "interesting" and "fascinating" and finally - "We should order one. I think my stomach should be able to handle it." The most benefit of the doubt I could give him is that maybe he was lactose intolerant and he was going to try a queso one, but that is an incredibly generous interpretation.

At the end, the shuttle got "stuck" for a bit, and was about 3 hours off schedule 10 blocks down the road. I waved at it, walked back home, and ate my delicious pupusas.
posted by sawdustbear at 11:20 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I stand corrected. I guess its just kismet, then, that SoCal has such strong ties to every step of the lifecycle of the shuttle.

By the way, the California Science Center scored a 90 in that matrix. Not an 85.
posted by hwyengr at 11:23 AM on October 16, 2012


My mistake! You're right, Dayton was tied with Kennedy and NYC at 85.
posted by dd42 at 11:29 AM on October 16, 2012


Pretty cool video, tho clearly not the entire route.
I love that the time lapse makes all the people around look like they are moving with maniacal excitement.

Re: trees
I'm sure that if they could have routed it through Beverly Hills or some fancy pants rich area they would have, just for the fun of arguing about the trees even more. As it was, they took the tree concern seriously, and the science center will be planting over a thousand trees to replace the 400 that were destroyed. So even with the attrition that some anticipate there should be full replacement. I think the organizers tried hard.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:59 PM on October 16, 2012


Have they perfected the science of rapidly aging trees to full growth and I just missed that article? Because replacing a full grown tree that provides much needed shade with two saplings that do not is not even remotely a fair trade.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:33 PM on October 16, 2012


Again, most of the trees were not ripped out of people's front yards. These were trees that were in the median of a street.
posted by hwyengr at 2:45 PM on October 16, 2012


In 50 years people will wonder why there are so many trees along Crenshaw Blvd, more than usual. Some geezer will tell people it was because of that dusty, crumbling Space Shuttle orbiter sitting in the Science Center.
posted by jjwiseman at 2:53 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favorite moments from watching the Shuttle roll down the street:

* Seeing the orbiter basically changing lanes, crabbing from the northbound lane of Crenshaw over to the southbound lane, then stopping when someone apparently realized oops, no, that ain't gonna work, and seeing it back up 50 or 60 feet back into it's original lane.

* Accidentally finding myself on the wrong side of the police line just as the orbiter came past, and being yelled at by a cop to back up and plaster myself against the wall of a building and NOT MOVE until after it went by.

* All the people who came out and were so excited to see a Space Shuttle! People clapped and cheered; the energy of the crowd was really positive.

* Realizing that if someone had so much as tossed a softball at the orbiter there probably would have been a shower of broken tile pieces.
posted by jjwiseman at 2:59 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Air Force Launching Secretive X-37B Space Plane in October, Could Land in Fla.
posted by homunculus at 12:34 AM on October 17, 2012


Again, most of the trees were not ripped out of people's front yards. These were trees that were in the median of a street.

Again, trees in medians provide benefits, too.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:02 AM on October 17, 2012


So does having a freaking Space Shuttle in your city's science museum.
posted by grouse at 4:43 PM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Lots of amazing photos of the voyage also.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:08 AM on October 18, 2012


Environmentally, they would have been better off keeping the commuter railroad tracks that were there before the trees were ever planted.

I'm sorry, but the trees are being replaced 4 to 1. It's like a forest fire (natural causes, not arson). It sucks when it happens because you've got decades of barren-ness, but eventually the forest grows back stronger than before.
posted by hwyengr at 9:14 AM on October 18, 2012


Another timelapse of the journey through the streets. I love the shot where you just see the tail poking above the trees.
posted by Joh at 11:03 PM on October 21, 2012


Endeavour's Final Flight
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:25 AM on October 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


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