Friday's low-level flyover of the Los Angeles basin by the space shuttle Endeavour (atop a modified jumbo jet) is expected to occur between 10 and 11 a.m. The FAA and NASA haven't revealed the exact route, but did announce that the shuttle would fly over or near these landmarks and others: the California Science Center, JPL, Disneyland, the Getty Center, Griffith Observatory, Santa Monica Pier, the Queen Mary and Malibu. That suggests a nice wide swoop over the city and would make the shuttle visible to perhaps millions, and includes a flyover of the SpaceX plant at Hawthorne Airport, according to the LA Weekly.
The jet carrying Endeavour is scheduled to land at LAX about 11 a.m., so the approaches to the airport would likely be among the best (and most congested) places for a close-up view of the strangest — and possibly most awesome — airborne sight most of us will ever see.
Endeavour will actually begin the morning Friday at Edwards Air Force, taking off about 7:15 a.m. for a fly-by of the cities in the Antelope Valley and presumably of the Palmdale Airport where so much shuttle work was done. The craft will then head north to overfly the state Capitol in Sacramento, the center of San Francisco and the Monterey Bay Aquarium before turning for Southern California.
The LAPD is warning people not to gawk and drive:
This is an impressive sight that has the potential for distracting drivers and pedestrians ... Law enforcement and transportation officials want to remind motorists and visitors not to stop on the roads or highways in order to view or take photographs of the shuttle fly over. These actions can contribute to traffic congestion and cause accidents. We ask those that are interested in seeking out the best opportunity to watch this event to make arrangements in advance.
After landing, the Endeavour will spend a couple of weeks in a hangar at LAX before being wheeled across the city to its new home at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.