Space Shuttle Endeavour and escort, flying over the California Science Center, its new home where it will soon be on display.

Wow, that was amazing. So a group of us (Aimee, Amy, Tameem, and myself) decided to go down to the Rose Garden, across the street from the USC campus and in the grounds of the Califorina Science Center where the Shuttle will be housed. Of all the places in LA where there will be a flyover, surely we ought to get a good view from there. Also, the Rose Garden gives access to a large piece of sky, so even if it does not come super-close, we ought to get a good chance… That was the thinking. (A major landmark here was that this is the most USC people I’ve ever seen in the lovely Rose Garden – not counting people on their way to a game at the Coliseum…)

Shuttle Endeavour and escort, with the Natural History Museum just in view below. It is approaching the California Science Center.

Well, it worked far better than we imagined. The shuttle eventually appeared from the West, and people began to cheer and wave, and snap pictures and so forth… We all felt very lucky that they did that pass…. you could see the fighter plane (?) escort, and there it was appropriately (sort of) over the buildings where it will live out its days… We’d talked about what it meant to see the very last transport flight of a shuttle, the end of the shuttle program, the future of manned spaceflight, and so forth. We, and the assembled crowd, all turned and left to go back to our lives, and I sent a text to my colleague Elena up at JPL who was waiting up there, saying “it’s on its way to you!”.

Back on campus (Trousdale and Bloom) we met up with another friend, Chris, who was joining us for a luncheon, talked about the sighting we just saw, and… there was a huge sound and loud cheers and shouts of “It’s coming baaaaack!!!” and we looked up and the shuttle was doing a super-low pass over the campus approaching the Science Center from the North! It was remarkably dramatic, and I had no time to catch a good shot for you before it hid partly behind a tree. In the shot (at full wide angle, by the way) it has passed over Exposition and is just going over the Rose Garden and Science Center that is on the other side of the tree you can see.

Space Shuttle Endeavour on its carrier, flying low over the California Science Center, its new home where it will soon be on display.

That was spectacular!


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3 Responses to Flyover!

  1. Yvette says:

    Nice- I saw Discovery last month at the Udvar-Hazy in Virginia, pics on my blog if you want to check it out.

    I confess though that the people cheering strike me a little as odd (though it’s happened loads on the other flyovers too). It’s putting an old racehorse out to pasture, not its replacement which doesn’t exist.

  2. Clifford says:

    Yes, I did see your excellent post when it went up earlier. Thanks for reminding me. About the cheering…I see what you mean, but somehow the cheering for me is more one of people enjoying seeing something that they might have never seen up close before, and whether it is being retired or not, it is pretty awesome to come that close to a spacecraft… and have it actually flown over you in a salute to the city. At least, I think that is part of what people are expressing. (I was also happy to see it because it is fantastic that it will be here in Southern California, and right across the street from where I work, and also a boost to the neighbourhood in terms of getting people more interested in coming to the museum cluster here, and using the nice new subway line to do so maybe…?)

    I’m a nauseatingly drink-the-koolaid sort of cheerleader for the region sometimes… 🙂


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