Shuttle Endeavour's California flyover, as seen from an FA18

This NASA video captures shuttle Endeavour's aerial view during its tour of Southern California on September 21, 2012.

Sites the shuttle flew over included Malibu, Dodger Stadium, California Science Center, the Los Angeles Colosseum, downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, Pasadena, the Rose Bowl, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, SpaceX, Universal Studios, Point Mugu. She then landed at Los Angeles International Airport. This weekend, Endeavour will ba carried to her final home at the California Science Center in downtown LA.

Photo below: The space shuttle Endeavour and its 747 carrier aircraft soar off the California coast near Ventura as its heads to the Los Angeles area during the final portion of its tour of California Sept. 21. (NASA / Jim Ross)

(Thanks, Doug Maddox!)


  1. normally i’d be super stoked about all things NASA. And, indeed, i was – until I found this out. Granted, it’s local political oversight, and not NASA – but fact is it sucks, and needs to be made aware outside of LA.
    In short, they chopped down nearly 300 old trees in ghetto to make room for shuttle. 
    I’m sure engineering minds could’ve come up with a far better solution.

      1. Covered it, but it’s still bullshit. That thing should’ve been chopped up and transported by trucks, then reassembled. I watched the first shuttle launch and watched the last landing, and the object itself still isn’t worth 400 trees. “Replanted” trees in Oakland had a 99% mortality rate (1990, “plantings without ceremony or community participation,” which I doubt these will get), and there’s little reason to think that LA will be different.

        There is absolutely no reason for this. None. Other that pure, undiluted propaganda. Why the hell will museum-goers care that Endeavor was transported intact? They won’t.

        Again: bullshit.

        1. 400 trees?  really?  
          how long will it take to grow these trees back?  a couple of decades?  and, they’re planting many times more, right?

          meanwhile this is one of a handful of vehicles that have repeatedly launched into space and returned under their own power as part of a (hopefully) early era of space exploration.

          to me, the suggestion that temporarily “saving” 400 trees (a HIGHLY renewable resource) outweighs the importance of keeping one of our very few space shuttles intact for posterity demonstrates shocking historical myopia.

          again, this isn’t a model space shuttle (like we have at the Dulles Udvar-Hazy center), this is an actual space shuttle that took off and orbited the earth with our astronauts aboard.

          now – I’m not necessarily advocating this particular route, and I don’t know how reliable the replanting effort by the museum are.  But angst about these 400 trees seems highly disproportionate relative to the significance of the Endeavour as part of the great adventure of human exploration of space.

          1. 1) Read the link. See the bit about replanted tree mortality?

            2) Space Shuttle Endeavor: 05/92-05/11.

            3) 19 years.

            4) 19 years + 2 re-attachable shuttle wings (it’s NASA for fuck’s sake) = 400 LA trees for you.

            Right on. We’ll preserve a diorama of the planet for your progeny after you’ve left.

          2. Huh?  Whats different about the “original” trees than the “replanted” trees?  Its not like we’re talking about an old growth forest here.

            No idea what your numbering system means.

          3. It will take decades for those trees to reach the size of their predecessors. In the interim, the people who live in those areas will lose out for a large chunk of their lives. All so that visitors can worship the corpse of a space program that we’re too cheap to continue.

    1. I live in L.A. and the chopped down trees got plenty of coverage. No one is trying to keep it a secret, nor could they. I trust that the museum and the city are committed to making up for the chopped trees by planting many more as compensation. No one said, “Hey, this looks like a ghetto route we can ravage.” They chose the most practical route. If they blatantly took the long way to avoid nice neighborhoods, we would hear about it. I’m not sure that showing off human/American achievement is propoganda. Would you rather they kept the shuttle in a hangar, where no one could see it? Also, you’re presuming it’s relatively cheap and easy to dissassemble and reassemble what may be one of the most complex vehicles ever made. If you have information supporting the feesibility of that, please share it.

      1. No one said, “Hey, this looks like a ghetto route we can ravage…they chose the most practical route. If they blatantly took the long way to avoid nice neighborhoods, we would hear about it.” 
        Sorry, Erik, but “the most practical route” never has been (or ever will be) routed through the tree-lined vistas of the Blue-Bloods’ neighborhood, I don’t care how you spin it…And regarding your contention that we would have heard complaints about it if a lot of the people affected by the loss of their trees were really angered by having the greenery removed, they HAVE complained long and loud, but their grievances have mainly been aired on small networks like KPFK 90.7 FM rather than CBS or NBC during prime time. And when the protests have been aired by the major networks it’s usually in sound-bite form with no in-depth reporting on the social and ecological impact that tree removal entails for the affected communities…with the residents and their children  regrettably portrayed as shortsighted, tree-hugging Eco-nuts who don’t appreciate the value of our space program…

        Santa Monica

    2. Space Shuttle footage… super… awesome… Large trees… cut down… totally sucks…. Jet Fighters… Magnolias… Spacecraft… Pines… excited… pissed off…

      *BANG*  *SPLAT* head exploded.

      I think I’m just going to look at the occupy scarf girl again. Thats a fucking great scarf, that is.

  2. I watched the flyby from a cafe on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, and it was very impressive. They actually flew by twice. But there were a bunch of people who were too busy or too hip or simply oblivious to look up from their cheeseburgers to observe this once in a lifetime event!

    I am looking forward to seeing them tow the shuttle from the airport to it’s home at the museum. Yes, it’s going to go through some economically challenged areas of town. I’m going to try to get a picture of the shuttle, an icon of modern technology, against a background of boarded up liquor stores.

  3. Anyone know how jet fighters can sound so quiet inside – this sounds like it’s being recorded in a Lexus that’s parked.

    1. That’s a really great question – you can clearly hear the breathing, but no engine noise at all.  Amazing noise cancellation, I presume?

  4. For a minute there I thought I heard Darth Vader, but then realized that everyone with a microphone was just breathing really loudly, lining up in a way that kind of sounds like Darth Vader

  5. The soundtrack is awesome – best line spoken by an F-15 pilot: At the 5:01 mark, “We’ll let him go forward a little on us…we’re not gonna hit nothin’.'”

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