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This last Saturday, the Space Shuttle Endeavour caused a little Los Angesles gridlock of its very own, traveling on the Over Land Transporter (OLT) for 12 miles through the city in order to reach its new home at the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion. No surprise that it was 10 hours late.
Endeavour, built as a replacement for space shuttle Challenger, completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles. The public will be able to visit the Shuttle at the CSC beginning October 30. For more images of Endeavour both on the LA streets and during her fly days, check out the Endeavour Flickr Group.
It also shouldn't come as any surprise that NASA themselves scored the best images from the entire drive, posting them to their Flickr. Hey, NASA may not have flying Space Shuttles anymore, but they do have a killer Flickr stream! From the NASA shots and a few others, we chose 10 images you just have to see:
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Houston, Texas isn't in the best mood today. After all, around sunrise this morning "Space City" lost what it should have kept: the NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour, which departed for the last time from Houston's Ellington Field, en route to its final resting place in Los Angeles. The Endeavour first hit the sky in 1992, flying 25 times, with 123 million miles in space and 4,700 circles around Earth.
It won't be a direct flight to LA for the Endeavour, atop its modified Boeing 747 carrier plane; it's booked to stop at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, before heading to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California. Then, tomorrow, the journey in the skies completes at LAX Airport before the shuttle takes to the streets in October.
NASA / Space Shuttle / Los Angeles Travel / Florida Travel / Space Travel / Events / 747 / LAX / → All Tags
Enterprise, not Endeavour, atop NASA's 747
September 20. Mark that in your iCal for your next chance at NASA shuttle-spotting as the Endeavour mounts NASA's specially configured Boeing 747 for the cross-country trip to the shuttle's final resting place in Los Angeles.
We've already filled you in on what's going down for the parade through the streets of LA on October 12, but Cape Canaveral isn't about to let the opportunity for extra cash pass by almost two weeks earlier.
Whereas standing street-side will be free in LA, Florida's Space Coast is selling tickets for a viewing of the flyaway, and they're not cheap...
The Moon / NASA / Eclipses / Eclipse Viewing / Weather / Travel News / Space Travel / Joe Corrigan / Neil Armstrong / Events / → All Tags
Last week's Blue Moon, which coincided with the burial of Neil Armstrong
It's getting crazy in Cairns. Even though the total solar eclipse is still over two months away, our Aussie embed assures us that hotel rooms are booking up and excitement is growing for the celestial event best visible from this Aussie city.
As we had actually considered heading down under for it, we were a tad dismayed. But wait! There's still plenty other astronomic occurrences to travel for yet this year and here's several:*
September 29: Uranus at Opposition. The blue-green planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. You'll need a telescope for this one, or give your local observatory a call and see if they'll be hosting an event.
October 20-21: Orionids Meteor Shower. Wake up super early or stay up really late between Oct 20-24, head outside with a thermos full of good stuff and look up into the night sky for what will hopefully be 20 meteors and hour. Get outside the city and suburbs, beyond light pollution, to take in the show.
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What you already know by now is that Neil Armstrong, NASA pilot and first man on the moon, died Saturday at age 82 of complications from cardiovascular procedures. What you probably don't know is that the man already has a museum dedicated to him, and it's been around for thirty years! The museum opened in 1972, three years after the famous first moonwalk 1969.
The Armstrong Air and Space Museum sits in the tiny (under 10,000 people) town of Wapakoneta, Ohio, Armstrong's birthplace. Since Ohio has a reputation as a breeding ground for aviators, astronauts and presidents, the structure branches out beyond Neil to cover all Ohio's contributions to the history and politics of space flight.
Among the items on display are Armstrong's uniforms, an F5D Sky Lancer, the Gemini VIII spacecraft (in which Neil flew and which also made the first space docking), Apollo 11 artifacts (Neil's backup Apollo 11 spacesuit!) and a moon rock. Even the architecture of the museum is notable; it resembles the moon rising and the dome that gives this effect contains a star theater.
Los Angeles Travel / Museum Travel / Space Shuttles / NASA / Space Travel / Events / 747 / LAX / Space Shuttle / Endeavour / → All Tags
The Enterprise lands at JFK
We know, we know. Just as New York City got its breath back back hyperventilating over the arrival of the Enterprise Space Shuttle, Los Angeles is all set to steal the thunder with their very own Shuttle arrival.
If the weather is good, expect the Space Shuttle Endeavour to land on the back of a NASA Boeing 747 (a bit like this) at LAX on September 20. Plane your plane spotting now!
It seems like only yesterday that NASA's Space Shuttle Enterprise was flying around the city atop a 747, then being towed by barge and hitting a railroad bridge. Sigh. Now our baby's all grown up and nearly one month into her retirement. Well, she's not really our baby but that of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan.
$30 per adult ($28 if bought online) is the admission price to enter the Intrepid Museum and also the Space Shuttle; there is no just-Space-Shuttle ticket. So, what do you get for that? To find out, this past weekend we finally made it up and under the temperature-controlled tent the Enterprise calls
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in La Cañada Flintridge, California looked more like the venue for a big Hollywood movie premiere than a scientific hub during last night's Curiosity landing.
Will.i.am, Morgan Freeman, Barry Sonnenfeld, Alex Trebek, Chuck Lorre, Wil Wheaton, Nichelle Nichols, Bill Prady and June Lockhart were just some of the VIPs on hand at JPL as the 1-ton Rover made its historic landing on Mars.
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In case you haven’t noticed, the Space Shuttle hasn’t exactly been doing its thing lately. The NASA program was sent to the hangar back in 2011, and some of those spacecraft have been sent elsewhere to become part of museum exhibits. Sure, it’s a little sad for fans of the space program as they wait for the next big thing to come along, however; the lack of a shuttle program does have some positives, like making certain previously restricted bits and pieces of Kennedy Space Center open to the public.
The Launch Pad Tour is now open, as visitors will get to take in the sights—and imagine the sounds—of Launch Pad 39-A. This is where pretty much all of the recent NASA missions have written entries into history, beginning with the Apollo trips to the moon and ending with almost each and every shuttle launch.
Plan to take an extra long lunch this Wednesday, as it's more than just a hump day, but the longest day of the year. June 20 at 7:09pm EST marks the Summer Solstice, when the sun stays up longest and hits the northern hemisphere at the most direct angle, from directly above the Tropic of Cancer. While south of the equator endure their shortest day of the year, we'll be staying out late with mid-week backyard BBQs and a second bottle of that summer brew.
While there's no special celestial events to watch out for at night, aside from noting how high the sun appears during the day, the weather is supposed to be warm enough and clear enough to take out the telescope and spot some constellations.
On the travel front, the first official day of summer means it's time to outfit yourself with what we usually consider the three most important accessories to always have on ya In hot temps:
Space Travel / Museum Travel / NASA / New York City / Ships / → All Tags
This last week brought some serious excitement to the shores of the New York City area, as the retired NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise traveled by barge from JFK International Airport to its final resting place aboard the Intrepid aircraft carrier on Manhattan's west side. The tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) who came out with their cameras, binoculars and umbrellas to #spottheshuttle now have but one question: When can the public see the shuttle again?
The short answer is July 19, according to a banner hanging from the Intrepid. That'll be the date when the newly created Space Shuttle exhibit and tour debuts on the deck of the aircraft carrier. The long answer is that it'll likely open a tad bit earlier, for VIP viewings and what surely will be quite a celebratory shindig. Until all that, the crew at the Intrepid Museum will build a "space pavilion" around the craft, protecting it from the elements (though, sadly, too late to protect it from railway bridges).
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The Space Shuttle is on the move during its retirement, and most recently one of the shuttles hitched a ride atop a modified Boeing 747 to be delivered to Washington, DC. Before its delivery, the piggybacked plane with the shuttle on top did some fancy flying around the nation’s capital, with dips and dives through the city and near some pretty famous monuments. Well now it’s New York’s turn to get its very own shuttle, but unfortunately even NASA and the Space Shuttle aren't immune to weather and airport delays in New York.
Today was supposed to be the day for Enterprise, but it looks like today’s rainy and windy weather will postpone things. We’ve been there before, so we feel for the pilots and crew transporting the shuttle from Washington, DC up to the Big Apple. At least they won’t be stuck at the airport watching the satellite weather feed with spotty WiFi and limited seating.