Every Time I Watch This I'm Sure the Space Shuttle Will Lose a Wing

Check out this animated GIF. It's the toughest moment of the space shuttle Endeavour's drive across Los Angeles, en route to its permanent retirement place, at the Science Center.


I extracted these frames from LA Times' Bryan Chan spectacular timelapse of NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour's last journey. Last and crazy, as you will see. Not only she had to weather the crowds, but get through really tight places. At some points it was almost touching trees and houses. This was the worst.

For context, here's a wider angle:

Illustration for article titled Every Time I Watch This I'm Sure the Space Shuttle Will Lose a Wing

Endeavour was the second-to-last shuttle to fly to space, in May 16, 2011. Atlantis was the last one.

It makes me sad to see this. Rest well, brave Endeavour. You went through 25 dangerous launches, brought 154 people to space, return safely and now you completed the most dangerous feat of all: survive LA traffic. [LA Times]

Here are the other moments when things got pretty tight:!



I really can't wait to go back to my old alma mater and walk over to see the shuttle, but it still does not sit well with me that they had to cut down 400 elder trees to do this, without having proper objective environmental surveys done:


1000 young replacement trees doesn't really sit with me as an acceptable reparation (i wouldn't be surprised if 1000 young trees displaced fewer carbon than 400 older trees), especially since the trees were also removed from less-privileged parts of town (the shuttle went east then north, through inglewood and south central, to get from the airport to downtown, as opposed to, say, north into west LA, and then east through Culver City).

I have yet to hear a compelling enough reason that says cutting trees down (even with replacing them with 1000 young trees) is the most effective solution, especially compared to, say, breaking the shuttle down into several pieces (because how much less inspirational will the shuttle be if you heard they needed to dismantle and reassemble it in order to get it to its final resting spot? that sounds much more inspirational than, in the pursuit of science we cut down 400 trees to get this here)