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Even though the space shuttle is capable of circling the Earth in just 90 minutes, getting Space Shuttle Endeavour to travel the final 22 km (14 miles) to its ultimate resting place will take over 13 hours — not to mention a huge community effort. It’s not everyday the nearly six-story, 82,000 kg (180,0000 lb) spacecraft — with a 24-meter (78-foot) wing span — takes to the streets of any city, not to mention the famous freeways of Los Angeles, California. But now that the shuttles are retired and will be heading to museums, the cities that will be home to the four remaining space shuttles are figuring out the logistics of transporting these huge spacecraft through their streets. So, just how exactly do you drive a space shuttle from the LAX airport to the California Science Center? Slowly. Very slowly — even by L.A. traffic standards.
LA TV station KCET’s news magazine show, SoCal Connected shared this report with Universe Today, explaining what it will take to get Endeavour “home” by late 2012.
Decommissioning and transporting — $28 million.
Building a new museum wing and exhibit — $170 million.
Owning a piece of space history — priceless.