Southland leaders preparing for Endeavour’s final trek

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The Forum in Inglewood will be the site of one party for the space shuttle Endeavour as it makes its careful way to the California Science Center in a couple of weeks.

The California Science Center and the Los Angeles Police Department are mapping out final logistics for next week’s Space Shuttle Endeavour journey through the streets of Inglewood and Los Angeles. Staff from both organizations briefed reporters today.

The plan’s still a work in progress; newly released details differ with some the LAPD had announced, then removed from the department's official press website. The coordinators of the shuttle's move say they expect to present final details early next week.

Authorities say they’ll roll Endeavour out of the United Airlines hangar at LA International Airport next Thursday just before midnight. They’ll steer the 85-ton shuttle into Inglewood at about 2 miles an hour with maintenance stops along the way.

Early Saturday morning, Endeavour’s supposed to stop at the Forum in Inglewood, where city leaders plan a free celebration around 9 o’clock.

From there, the space shuttle crawls into LA - and by mid-Saturday afternoon, it should arrive at the intersection of Martin Luther King and Crenshaw boulevards. That’s where choreographer Debbie Allen has produced a celebratory event that’ll require tickets to attend.

The shuttle completes its 12-mile trek when it arrives at its final home - the California Science Center - around 9 o’clock Saturday evening.

Authorities say it’s best to plan ahead and watch Endeavour from the Forum in Inglewood or the California Science Center.

LAPD Sgt. Rudy Lopez says traffic crews will close off streets, sidewalks and areas near the route.

"We are using... the Department of Transportation to close not only the intersection but north and south of the area so that people don't get snared into being blocked in certain locations," Lopez said. "There will be a lot of sworn and non-sworn... partnerships, volunteers... to assist with crowd control."

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