NASA orbiter Endeavour is squeezing her way through tree-stripped streets of Los Angeles this weekend, en route to a permanent retirement home at the California Science Center.
Here's a Google Map of the route, with stopping points. Big shuttle is big. Bigger than the streets that must accommodate her. Basically, the whole thing is like the ultimate slow-speed car chase, but with fewer live news choppers overhead.
Above: BB reader Troy B. Asher caught Endeavour parked in a parking lot today. More of his pix here.
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Discovery launch. Source: NASA.
This past weekend, I accompanied Miles O'Brien to the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Space Center. In attendance were present and past KSC directors, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, astronauts and space heroes of all eras—from Thomas Stafford to Cady Coleman—and many of the so-called "pad rats" who built spacecraft from the Apollo era through the Shuttle era. Miles delivered an amazing speech dedicated to those pad rats.
If you're familiar with traditional Japanese craftsmanship culture or you've seen the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you'll know why he calls them "The Shuttle Shokunin."
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Filmmaker Dan Cohen is the guy behind "An Article of Hope," a feature film project seven years in the making. The documentary is done, but Dan's got a Kickstarter to raise funds to get it on television and into schools. Below, some words from Dan for Boing Boing readers about the film:
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What could space shuttle Astronauts and the Holocaust possibly have in common? When I began my research into my documentary An Article of Hope, I thought I was making a film about a Holocaust story. But I soon unraveled a story that was much more than that. It is a story that crosses generations woven by the lives of three men, born at a different time, but brought together by a twist of fate.
At the center of the story were the Astronauts of the Space Shuttle Columbia. All from different backgrounds from around the world, magnificently diverse, yet threaded by a moment from the Holocaust, a horrific attempt to stamp out diversity.
Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon was a hero fighter pilot, a man who had the ability to rise to the moment. By the time he launched into space he was more than that, he was the representative of his country, his faith, and in his eyes perhaps, humanity. He searched for a symbol of this responsibility, and found a little Torah scroll given to a boy in a secret Bar Mitzvah in a Nazi concentration camp.
Photo: Larry Downing / Reuters
Thousands gathered today to watch space shuttle Discovery take its last flight, lifted by Boeing 747 to a permanent resting place at Dulles International Airport. There, it will go on display at the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center. Read the rest
The night before the Challenger space shuttle disaster, engineer Roger Boisjoly spent hours trying to get the mission called off. He was so certain that booster joints would fail in freezing weather and destroy the craft that he refused to watch it happen
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Submitterator vetran collectSPACE tells us:
collectSPACE had the rare opportunity recently to tour NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis to photograph its preparation for museum display and capture its glass cockpit powered and lit for one of its last times.
The photo gallery starts on Atlantis’ flight deck, and then proceeds to its now mostly empty middeck, out into and above the 60-foot payload bay, and then around and under the winged spacecraft.
Their gallery is gorgeous, and really appropriately shows the complexity of the space shuttle's controls. It hadn't occurred to me until now how little of the space shuttle I've seen.
Rare, last look inside space shuttle Atlantis - collectSPACE Read the rest
Forget it, everyone: there can be no greater jack-o'-lantern theme for 2011. Robert Pearlman tweets this snapshot of a pumpkin carved as an homage to the Space Shuttle Program, which ended this year. Read the rest