By: William M. Welch
LOS ANGELES -- After celebratory low passes over Tucson, Houston and
other points to the east, NASA's retired space shuttle Endeavour arrived
on its final flight here today, swooping over hordes of crowds looking
for a last glimpse of the space icon.
Thousands watched Friday
from nearby rooftop buildings and along a bridge as the shuttle,
strapped to the back of a modified jumbo jet, circled the city. Crowds
also lined dozens of piers in San Francisco to get a look at the craft's
final aerial tour.
Hitching a ride on top of a jumbo jet, the
pair soared over the state Capitol, Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood Sign
and other icons en route to an afternoon landing at the Los Angeles
International Airport where it is now being prepped for a slow-speed
journey to its museum home next month.
At the Santa Monica Pier,
spectators pointed their cameras skyward and some chanted, "USA! USA!"
as Endeavour swooped along the coast.
"Even though it was a few seconds, it was a unique experience to witness history," said Andrew Lerner, 23, of Santa Monica.