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November 12, 2012

Endeavor

You may have heard about the latest big thing to come to Los Angeles...actually a return home of sorts.  The NASA Space Shuttle program was based here in California, and with the program's retirement, the 4 remaining Space Shuttles have now found homes at museums around the country.  In September, the last of the space shuttles, the Endeavor, flew into Los Angeles piggy-backed on a Boeing 747...what a sight!  I'm glad I got to see it fly into the airport, however I regret I missed the real "urban sketching moment"...when last month the Endeavor was transported in a 12-mile, slow-moving parade through neighborhoods of Los Angeles,  from the airport to its new home at the California Science Center in Exposition Park, where I finally caught up to it last week to draw it!  Thousands lined the streets to watch this momentous event (which involved moving street lights and trees) here are some great photos...http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/10/a-space-shuttle-on-the-streets-of-los-angeles/100386/

A little girl was asked by a reporter what she liked best, and she said "all the scars on it"...probably not what the reporter was expecting, but when I finally saw it, that impressed me too!

While I was drawing I heard a boy ask "Is it real?  It looks like it's made out of cardboard!"  Since the shuttles had to endure extreme heat upon reentry, they were covered in thermal protective insulation tiles that do look a bit like cardboard.  While I was drawing some students came over to see what I was doing...a delightful group from Mendota Jr. High, near Fresno, California.  They told me about the program they're in, MESA, Math, Engineering, Science Achievement...http://mesa.ucop.edu/about/

Here's the tail section...

11 comments :

Shari Blaukopf said...

What a great story Virginia. The big sketch is so powerful and inspires as much awe, or almost as much, as when you got to see the real thing. Thanks for letting us share in this. That piggy-back flight sounds amazing too. Lucky you.

Shockgrubz said...

I really liked the 'scars' comment. Wise eyes can see natures forces against a man-made goliath. Even one that was the best technological invention of it's time.

Richard Sheppard said...

I'd love to have seen the space shuttle cruising through the Los Angeles Streets. But I'm very happy to see the shuttle through your eyes with these terrific sketches!

matthew_c said...

I loved the space shuttle program, it's sad to think that it's over, boy how the time flies...
Beautiful sketches of this fantastic space ship!
I hope a new generation of ships comes along soon.

Alissa Duke said...

I saw its final journey by road onthe television, but your sketches capture the size of the space shuttle and the awe of the people viewing it(just through their stances !!) . the 'scars' are great too.

Flaf said...

wonderful story and illustrations!

Teri Casper said...

Thank you so much for sharing this awesome sight. Fabulous job on it.

VHein said...

Shari, Shockgrubz, Richard, Matthew, Alissa, Flaf and Teri, thanks a lot for your nice comments! This truly was an awe-inspiring sight.

Shiho Nakaza said...

Thank you for posting. I have yet to see the Shuttle in its final home - will need to sketch it sometime soon!

Inna said...

Super cool! Space stuff is so interesting, and your drawings are beautiful!

Don Low said...

Such exciting report of the event, while the sketches compliment it. This is inspiring.