The retired space shuttle Endeavour and its NASA 747 circled the Los Angeles basin for more than an hour, buzzing the runway at LAX twice and swooping wide over Santa Monica Bay before actually landing for the cameras. Every TV station in LA with news dropped programming and televised the aerial event live for the duration. Tens of thousands of people watched from high spots such as Griffith Observatory, Runyon Canyon and the rooftops of office buildings from Westwood to Downtown, or took to the streets and school playgrounds to catch a glimpse and cheer.
The shuttle flew by Santa Monica Pier, the Getty Museum, UCLA, Universal Studios, the Hollywood sign, the California Science Center, Disneyland and other local landmarks. It circled the Downtown area repeatedly, and in a sign of respect and thanks flew over the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada and dipped a wing. There were tears, and a lot of cheers.
Top photo near LAX: Kennedy Space Center on Facebook. Below, Steve Soboroff on Twitter.