AP PHOTOS: Endeavour makes terrestrial journey

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Associated Press

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 14 at 6:00 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's a surreal sight Los Angeles residents won't soon forget: A hulking space shuttle strutting down city streets, pausing every so often to get its bearings as it creeps toward retirement.

The Endeavour's terrestrial journey continued through Inglewood, California, Saturday after it left Los Angeles International Airport the day before, rolling on a 160-wheeled carrier past diamond-shaped "Shuttle Xing" signs.

Hundreds of camera-toting spectators gaped as the 170,000-pound Endeavour inched by with its tail towering over streetlights and its wings spanning the roadway.

It keeps trundling along on its 12-mile journey at a top speed of 2 mph to its final destination — the California Science Center where it will be the centerpiece of a new exhibit.

The baby of the shuttle fleet, Endeavour replaced Challenger, which exploded during liftoff in 1986, killing seven astronauts. Endeavour thundered off the launch pad 25 times, orbited Earth nearly 4,700 times and racked up 123 million miles.

Here are some images of the shuttle's journey:

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