Kristin S. Agostoni
The space shuttle Endeavour’s planned trip from Florida to Los Angeles has again been held up because of inclement weather, pushing its planned arrival into LAX to Friday, NASA has announced.
That means the orbiter will arrive on Los Angeles International Airport’s south airfield a day later than originally planned – a decision that was made to “ensure a safe flight” for Endeavour and the Boeing 747 aircraft that will carry it across the country, NASA said.
The shuttle that soon will retire at the California Science Center was set to leave Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Monday, but NASA shifted the departure date first to Tuesday because of inclement weather along the orbiter’s path to Houston before heading father west.
By late Monday afternoon, it had been pushed back again to Wednesday, when weather conditions along the Gulf Coast are expected to be favorable along the first leg of the trip.
The Endeavour’s planned landing at LAX is expected to draw crowds of people out of their homes and offices as they try to get a look at the 57-foot-tall orbiter with a 78-foot wingspan that’s made 25 space missions.
Because spectators are expected to flock to an El Segundo street overlooking the airport’s south airfield, where the youngest shuttle in the fleet will land, city police announced plans several days ago to block parts of Imperial Avenue to vehicles.
The Proud Bird Restaurant on Aviation Boulevard had booked 500 reservations for a sold-out Thursday lunchtime event for those wanting to get a glimpse at Endeavour before it lands. It wasn’t clear Monday night how the restaurant would deal with the scheduling change.
The shuttle’s arrival Friday will not disrupt air traffic, as scheduled flights will be redirected to other parts of the airport as they would have been if the orbiter arrived as originally planned, said Nancy Castles, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles World Airports.
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