Editor's Note: This article will be updated with new photos and updates of Endeavour's journey throughout the day Friday. Check back often for updated coverage and be sure to upload your own photos of the shuttle to this gallery.
- See a route map and full schedule of Endeavour's journey
- Watch a clip from a press conference with NASA astronaut Mark Kelly
Well, Endeavour is now parked safely inside her new home at the California Science Center. What a ride it was. Thanks for following along.
If you were not able to catch Endeavour while it crawled through the streets, it can be viewed at the science center starting on October 30.
That's all for us!
Although most of the crowds have dispersed, the shuttle still has about 50 yards to travel before it is technically in its resting place. Crews are working now to widen the wheel base for the final push into the exhibit building.
The Endeavour is now being moved into the exhibit building. It has maybe 100 yards left and then it's parked.
California Science Center president and CEO, Jeff Rudolph, speaking at the event, thanked the people of Los Angeles and Inglewood for their support as the Endeavour made its way from LAX through city streets.
"I may be kicked for it, but it was the mother of all parades," Rudolph said, drawing applause from the crowd.
Rudolph also thanked the science center volunteers for their long hours of work.
Mayor Villagairosa is speaking to the crowd at Exposition Park as the Endeavour sits on Bill Robertson Lane in the background.
"Wow, what a journey," he said.
He thanked the residents of Los Angeles, and Westcester and South Los Angeles in particular, who were most inconvenienced by the transportation of the oribter.
"This was not just a once in a lifetime event but a once event," he said.
"Mission 26, mission accomplished."
The man who gets credit for bringing the Endeavour to Los Angeles laughs when he's told he's the one responsible for this historic moment.
"That's what they are accusing me of," he chuckles.
Ken Philips, curator of California Science Center aerospace science from Ladera Heights, believed that Los Angeles should have a shuttle on display.
He sensed 20 years ago. when he came from Baltimore to Los Angeles. that the shuttle program would be canceled. After the Columbia and Challenger, it seemed a foregone conclusion.
After the program was canceled, NASA began taking applications from organizations seeking to get an orbiter.
Phillips went to science center president Jeff Rudolph and an application was submitted to NASA.
Phillips remember getting the call from NASA Administrator Gen. Charles Bolden on April 12, 2011 that the cit would get Endeavour. "I was stunned," he said. "It's an outstanding gift."
Culver City resident Marea Perez, a diver volunteer for the California Science Center, has been on duty helping at the site since Thursday.
She's had two hours of sleep since then, crashing on the third floor of a center building. The rush of adrenaline keeps her going, she said.
Her feeling on seeing the shuttle creep up Bill Robertson Lane: "Immense pride."
Crowds are cheering as the Endeavour makes its slow trek up the lane.
The Endeavour has made the turn and is making its way up Robertson Lane. One small turn for the shuttle, one big thrill for Los Angeles.
The shuttle is slowly making its turn onto Bill Robertson Lane from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Shell Amega, California Science Center communications vice president, said the public will be able to see the shuttle for about the next three hours as it makes its way up Bill Robertson Lane and onto the center's display pavilion.
It will then go behind a wall, where it wil be prepped for its official exhibition which opens to the public Oct. 30.
Anticipation is growing to a fever pitch as the Endeavour approaches Bill Robertson Lane and the California Science Center.
People are stacked as many as seven deep along Martin Luther Jr. Boulevard to catch a glimpse of the famed shuttle.
Mayor Villagairosa is behind the media area watching in anticipation as well.
News helicopters are hovering overhead, indicating the shuttle is creeping ever closer. Endeavour is currently approaching the intersection of Normandie and MLK Jr. Blvd.
Unofficial word has the shuttle arriving in Exposition Park around 11:00 a.m.
Spectators have started to return to the area near the California Science Center in Exposition Park. A select few spectators have even braved the night to ensure a front row seat for Endeavour's final leg.
Sanona Talley, who drove up from Long Beach, said she has been waiting in the public viewing area parking lot since 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. She and two others slept on a sheet of cardboard overnight.
"We were cold, but we had body heat," said Talley. "We had each other."
Talley said at this point, she doesn't care how long it takes for the shuttle to arrive-- she is waiting it out.
The Unified Command estimates the shuttle will arrive at the California Science Center by mid-morning. It is currently at around Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Western Avenue.
Here's the command's latest statement:
"The Martin Luther King Blvd has proved to be more challenging than originally estimated due to the decision to save hundreds of Canary Islands pine trees which were planted in 1990 to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The Endeavour transporter also had a mechanical problem with a broken seal which has been repaired and Endeavour continues its journey toward the California Science Center."
Don't forget to upload your photos!
The California Science Center said the shuttle is currently at MLK Jr. Boulevard and Arlington-- about two miles away from its final destination. Officials also noted that the tricky part of the journey that involves narrowly avoiding trees is nearly complete. That should mean much smoother sailing once the shuttle clears the trees.
SUNDAY - 4:55 a.m.
Unofficial word is the shuttle's arrival to the California Science Center will most likely be delayed another hour to 7:00 a.m. Sunday.
In sharp contrast to last night, the streets around Exposition Park where the Science Center sits, are mostly empty. Those still on the streets are mostly those waiting to catch a bus or go to work this morning. Traffic is light, much like one would expect in the wee hours of the morning on a Sunday. Even media crews have thinned out in the designated media area.
Today, parking lots will also be made available for spectators, as the orbiter rolls into Exposition Park. Four lots will be open between Bill Robertson Lane and Vermont Avenue north of Martin Luther King Boulevard, City News Service reports.
SATURDAY - 11:41 p.m.
The crowd along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard has thinned, but some people continue to linger in hopes of catching a glimpse of the shuttle.
The shuttle will not likely resume its trek from Crenshaw Plaza to the science center for a while.
So we'll sign off for now and catch you all in the morning. Good night!
Unified Command is now estimating that the arrival time of the shuttle at the California Science Center will be at 6 a.m. Sunday.
Unofficial word is that the shuttle will not arrive at the California Science Center until 6:15 a.m. at the earliest.
Volunteers at the science center have been sent home.
An official update is pending.
Unified Command, the joint effort of the fire deparment, police and other agencies, thanked the public for making the Endeavour journey a "safe and celebratory event."
Emergency personnel responded to 43 calls for medical service and two fire responses (a rubbish fire and sheared hydrant) near the Endeavour route. A lost child was also reunited with family members.
The Unified Command has two fire trucks providing 750-watt halogen lights and other help as the Endeavour prepares to embark on its last three miles to the science center.
Metro Rail has tweeted -- Tonight: ALL Metro Rail lines run 24-hr overnight service into Sun morning. NO extra Orange, Silver service.
The California Science Center says on its Facebook page that the transporter is being switched from wide to narrow to accommodate Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the entry into science center display pavilion.
Crowds continue to surround the Endeavour as it sits at Crenshaw Plaza in Baldwin Hills.
Adrian Belisle, 9, was impressed. "It was big and making history."
Jordan Holguin, who helped build the Endeavour, said: "I'm sad to see her go...it was amazing."
The Fire Department says the Endeavour is about five hours behind schedule, the City News Service reports. Regular maintenance on the shuttle transporter and roadway obstacles have slowed the journey, the Fire Department has tweeted.
The expected arrival at the California Science Center is now 1 a.m., according to Shell Amega, the center's communications vice president.
Traffic is heavy on the streets near Exposition Park, location of the science center. The sidewalks along Martin Luther King Jr. are packed.
Endeavour is within view of the crowds at Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
NBC4 reports that the shuttle will be at the location for an hour or longer as officials reassess the route to the science center.
The Endeavour is four to five hours behind schedule as officials take precautions to move the shuttle safely to the California Science Center, first along Crenshaw Boulevard and then Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
At this rate, the shuttle will likely not arrive at the science center until past 10 or 11 p.m.
Parking lots will be made available for spectators as the shuttle rolls into Exposition Park, according to the City News Service. Four lots will be open between Bill Robertson Lane and Vermont Avenue north of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
There have been 26 heat-related medical emergencies, fire department Chief Carlos Calvillo told the City News Service earlier this afternoon.
NBC4 reports that number is up to about 50 and other medical emergencies have included some non-life threatening cardiac cases.
The fire department has a medical command post set up at 39th Street at Crenshaw.
An estimated 30,000 people have gathered between Slauson Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard to view the Endeavour, authorities estimate.
Crowds have been roughing it in the sun, but have been given water thanks to the fire department and the local Walmart.
The mayor is walking in front of the Endeavour with the three astronauts, Kate Hire, Greg Johnson and Mike Fincke, along Crenshaw Boulevard.
He's thanked Jeff Rudolph, California Science Center CEO, for bringing the shuttle to Los Angeles and inspiring students.
Let's see your shuttle pixs! Upload them to the gallery by clicking on the Upload Photos and Videos button above.
California Science Center CEO Jeff Rudolph estimates another 30 to 40 minutes before the Endeavour arrives at the Baldwin Hills Mall area.
One bystander was overheard to say: "It could have already been in space by now."
The Endeavour is maneuvering to avoid a median strip on Crenshaw Boulevard.
"Its journey is slow and steady but it is momentous," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, speaking at the Baldwin Hills Mall event about the Endeavour.
"We all remember Dr. King's 'I have a Dream' speech and it is fitting we're here, as this is a city of dream makers," he said. "Our city spirit came shining through."
Despite the delay in the shuttle's arrival, no one appears to be leaving.
Baldwin Hills resident Christina McCord said: "I'm tired of waiting," but has no plans to leave.
"We've come a long way and someday I hope someone from our community will fly a spacecraft." — Herb Wesson, Los Angeles City Council president
After coming to a stop for a few minutes, the shuttle is on the move again.
The delays thus far will put the shuttle's arrival at the Baldwin Hills Mall area behind by roughly 70 to 90 minutes, according to California Science Center CEO Jeff Rudolph.
The first performance, a children's hip-hop group has begun while other performers, including aerialist performers, are on deck.
One group, the Mental Head Circus, prepared for their performance complete with their astronaut gear.
"We all worked so hard," said performer Nikki Blakslee as she warmed up with her group. "We're honored to be a part of it!"
The ceremony is officially underway, with speeches from Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell and Councilwoman Jan Perry.
Mitchell emphasized the importance of more African-American participation in the sciences to the primarily black audience.
The center of attention is on three astronauts on stage at the moment. Astronauts Kate Hire, Greg Johnson and Mike Fincke are on the stage speaking.
In an interview with Patch, Fincke emphasized that this was not the end but the beginning of the future of space exploration.
"I couldn't be more optimistic," he said.
Astronaut Kate Hire challenged students to innovate in her speech.
"We challenge you students out there when you see the space shuttle to think about those crazy innovative ideas," she said.
As the arrival time draws closer, anticipation is only growing.
Crystal Dacosta, a resident of Baldwin Hills, arrived at 11 a.m. with her family to see the shuttle. "This was too exciting to miss," she said.
Her mother, Dolly Beese, who is visiting from San Diego, was also enthused. "This is history and I'm loving it!"
Thousands of spectators are currently gathered at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Crenshaw boulevards to await the shuttle's arrival.
The shuttle is expected to make a late arrival.
Roads around the Baldwin Hills Mall are currently facing heavy traffic as a growing group of spectators gather.
The parking lots in and around the mall are nearly at capacity. Spectators currently en route are advised to park further afield.
The Endeavour has made its way through the narrowest point of its journey along Crenshaw Drive and is now rolling along Crenshaw Boulevard.
Standing along Crenshaw Drive was Inglewood resident Marilyn Williams, who told friends how she would always look up at the moon when a shuttle was launched and wish she was a fly on the wall in the shuttle. However, today, the shuttle came to her.
"I said, 'Father God, I didn't get to go to space, but you brought the space to me,'" said Williams. "I am about to tear up."
The shuttle's next scheduled stop is at 2 p.m. for a half hour near the Baldwin Hills Mall where the public can watch choreographed dance performances.
The shuttle then makes a right turn onto the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Actors Robert De Niro and Luke Wilson are watching the Endeavour on Crenshaw Drive. It looks like they are part of a filming.
The shuttle is on the move again! Police said it would be delayed an hour so people started to disperse. But then the Endeavour began moving and folks returned to watch.
Shuttle is now stopped and delayed on Crenshaw Drive as crews have to remove a big tree that is still in the way. Police say the shuttle will be delayed an hour.
Prior to that, the shuttle was navigating the narrowest part of its journey. It was barely inching along as crews made very precise and measured moves through the narrow corridor. The shuttle must avoid homes and apartment buildings that are just a few feet from its wing tips.
Toyota Tundra tows Space Shuttle Endeavour. Tweet to raise $50 for @CAScienceCenter. #TundraEndeavourToyota
People are sitting and standing in their front yards along Crenshaw Drive near 82nd Street, the narrowest part of the Endeavour's route to its new home.
There's lots of excitement from kids to the oldest adults here as they wait for the shuttle.
The Forum event is underway.
Good morning! The Endeavour was wheeled into the Forum parking lot, the City News Service reports, surrounded by a throng of adoring fans, and readied for its final ride down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Thanks to those who uploaded their photos to our gallery. If you've got a shuttle photo or video to share, please click on the Upload Photos and Videos button above.
Key spots to view the shuttle Saturday:
9 a.m. - A public rally at The Forum parking lot in Inglewood.
2 p.m. - Half-hour viewing at the Baldwin Hills Mall, Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards.
8:30 p.m. - Shuttle arrives at the California Science Center.
FRIDAY - 11:44 p.m.
The shuttle was successfully pulled across the 405 Freeway by a Toyota Tundra. Prior to the shuttle crossing the bridge, California Highway Patrol helped conduct a rolling stop of the freeway to ensure drivers were not distracted by the Endeavour passing over them.
Endeavour will now rest near the intersection of Inglewood Avenue and Manchester Boulevard for the night before tomorrow's planned festivities.
That is all for me tonight. Check back tomorrow for more photos and be sure to upload your own!
Film crews are still busy shooting a new Toyota Tundra commercial in front of the space shuttle. An updated estimate has Endeavour moving again at around 11:45 p.m. once filming is complete.
Regardless, the crowds have stuck around, anxious to see it move again.
It appears that the shuttle is now resting on its new dolly that will move it across the 405 Freeway tonight. Film crews are hard a work filming a commercial for Toyota as one of their trucks will pull the shuttle across the Manchester Boulevard bridge.
There are still plenty of onlookers gathering on the nearby streets.
Flood lights cast a bright glow on the Endeavour as crews continue to make preparations for its crossing over the 405 Freeway.
All around the area, pedestrians have swarmed the sidewalks to get a photo of the shuttle lit up at night. La Cienega remains open for pedestrian access all the way up to Manchester Boulevard, affording the opportunity for an iconic photo of the shuttle with Randy's Donuts in the foreground.
It is clear, at least in Inglewood, that shuttle fever has taken hold.
The shuttle has arrived in front of Randy's Donuts in Inglewood. Crews are now working on transferring the shuttle to a new trailer so it can be moved across the 405 Freeway around 11 p.m. Friday night.
Southern California Edison has completed the 54-step process of lifting the power lines at the intersection of Glasgow and Manchester Boulevard. Rather than take them down, a crane was brought in to lift the lines an additional 15 feet to accommodate the 57-foot height of the shuttle.
"It is a massive undertaking," said SoCal Edison planning supervisor Aaron Pearson. And, he added, they have to do it four more times along the route.
Endeavour has begun moving again and will head east on La Tijera before making a right turn onto Manchester Boulevard. From there, it will take about three hours to reach the intersection of Glasgow and Manchester.
We are staked out near Randy's Donuts on Manchester Boulevard waiting for the shuttle's 4:30 p.m. anticipated arrival time.
Randy's is technically closed for business but they have set up a bank of bleachers in their parking lot for a private watch party.
In the meantime, be sure to upload your photos of the shuttle to this gallery and share your experience in our comments section.
When you stand around Endeavour for long enough, you realize that the shuttle's journey means a lot to many people in the area.
It has particular significance for Dina Heredina of Redondo Beach.
As the shuttle sat in the parking lot of Staples, Heredina approached an official shuttle photographer clutching a laminated prayer card from her father's funeral.
Choking back tears, she handed the prayer card to the photographer as she explained how her late father was an avid space shuttle fan. "He followed everything," she said.
Heredina asked that the prayer card be carried along with the shuttle for the remainder of the route so her father could follow Endeavour. The photographer agreed and placed the card in his vest pocket.
"It is just so emotional," said Heredina as she described how she used to look at the stars with her father through their home telescope and talk about the shuttle program. "I have just been crying ever since the space shuttle flew over."
Walking up to the Staples parking lot at Sepulveda and La Tijera Boulevard, where the shuttle currently rests, is like approaching a major sporting venue.
Savvy entrepreneurs, taking advantage of a once-ever opportunity and a sudden captive audience, hawked posters, t-shirts, flags and even cotton candy. "Postcards—four for $1—share with a friend," one vendor yelled repeatedly at the corner of Sepulveda and La Tijera.
The weekend had clearly come early for the more than one thousand people that stood in the parking lot snapping pictures and gawking at the shuttle in front of them. People from across the Southland showed up on bikes, on foot and many with pets.
The shuttle still has about two more hours to go before it starts moving again.
A small crowd has gathered across the street from Endeavour as it sits at Sepulveda Eastway and La Tijera Boulevard.
Crews said they are working to adjust the transporter the shuttle is riding on so it can travel down Manchester. Unlike previous streets, Manchester has a median in the middle that the shuttle must pass over the top of.
Endeavour is sitting near the intersection of La Tijera and Sepulveda Eastway and will remain there until approximately 1:00 p.m. Friday. A press conference with city officials is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. to update the media on the progress of the journey.
This editor is off to bed for a few hours. Check back throughout the day for new photos and updates.
Hundreds of people lined Westchester Boulevard in the wee hours of the morning Friday to see Endeavour on the first leg of its route on public streets.
People of all ages turned out in what resembled a parade at 3:00 a.m. One mother held their child, still dressed in pajamas and clutching a blanket. Santa Monica resident Vivianne Robinson carried a child-sized alien doll on the front of her bicycle and wore a hat decorated with shuttle mission patches and an American flag.
Despite warnings of street and sidewalk closures one mile in advance, the public was allowed on the sidewalk as the shuttle rolled by a mere 20 feet in front of them. Police stood watch to ensure nobody stepped onto the street and the crowd chased the shuttle down the route.
Others simply gawked as the shuttle rolled by.
"This is amazing," said one woman. "Wow... Just wow," said another bystander.
Even emergency crews were not immune to the excitement as police officers and firefighters posed for pictures in front of Endeavour.
Around 4:00 a.m., the shuttle will reach La Tijera and Sepulveda Eastway where it will remain for nine hours until 1 p.m. Friday.
A California Science Center spokesman says the Space Shuttle Endeavour has left Los Angeles International and is en route to the California Science Center.
City News Service provided this report.
A California Science Center spokeswoman says unspecified mechanical difficulties have delayed the planned 2 a.m. start of the space shuttle Endeavour's 12-mile journey from Los Angeles International Airport to the Science Center in Exposition Park for 30 to 45 minutes.
City News Service provided this report.
Friday, 12:40 a.m.
Crews ahead of the shuttle spent Thursday night and early Friday placing steel plates onto roads to keep the infrastructure underneath from being crushed by the massive weight of Endeavour.
More than 2,700 one-inch thick steel plates, weighing a total of nine million pounds, had to be brought in to accommodate the shuttle according to Encon Construction Services president Michael Volchok. It took 250 trucks to deliver the plates from as far away as Arizona, said Volchok.
In addition, Caltrans workers, taking advantage of their in-house sign making facility, placed "shuttle crossing" signs along Lincoln Boulevard. The signs proved to be a popular photo opportunity for many of the construction workers.