Space shuttle Endeavour expected to make low fly-over in Downey

DOWNEY - The space shuttle Endeavour may fly over Downey for a final goodbye Friday morning. City officials received word from Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and NASA this week that the shuttle will fly over the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey on Friday, Sept. 21, at about 11:30 a.m.

Guerra announced the news on his Twitter account Wednesday.

"Staff and council have been working really hard to make this happen," Guerra said. "As of right now we have been told to look for it -- that's the plan for right now."

The space shuttle is scheduled to fly over much of the Los Angeles region Friday, including over Long Beach, Palmdale, Disneyland, Universal Studios and Venice Beach.

According to the California Science Center, the shuttle will begin its California tour at about 7:15 a.m., when it zooms past Palmdale and heads north to Sacramento. From there, it will head west to San Francisco before coming down to Southern California.

Plans could change due to weather and security concerns, officials warned.

The shuttle will eventually land at LAX, where it will remain in a United Airlines hangar until it is moved 12 miles through city streets to its final home at the California Science Center next month.

"This will be the first, last and only time a space shuttle will travel through urban, public city streets," science center officials said. "It is truly a national treasure."

Downey has a rich aerospace history, with Rockwell International employing more than 30,000 aerospace workers at its peak during the 1960s.

"For more than six decades, men and women have gathered in this Los Angeles County town to make the dreams of tomorrow a reality -- inventing the future and starting America's journey to the stars," resident Gerald Blackburn wrote in the book 'Downey's Aerospace History 1947-1999.' "The story of the site's aerospace history extends from North American Aviation's tenancy in 1947 to the site closure in 1999 when engineers and scientists designed and developed the aerospace technology that took man to the moon and established a permanent presence in space."

********** Published: September 20, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 23