Author Topic: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)  (Read 58371 times)

Offline TheFallen

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 101
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #40 on: 09/07/2012 08:40 PM »
Locations that Endeavour/NASA 905 will fly over:

- Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, FL (9/17)
- Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL (9/17)
- Patrick Air Force Base, FL (9/17)
- Stennis Space Center, MS (9/17)
- Michoud Assembly Facility, LA (9/17)
- Houston, TX (9/17)
- Clear Lake, TX (9/17)
- Galveston, TX (9/17)
- White Sands Test Facility, NM (9/19)
- Dryden Flight Research Center, CA (9/19)
- Ames Research Center, CA (9/20)
- San Francisco, CA (9/20)
- Sacramento, CA (9/20)
- Los Angeles, CA (9/20... Landing targeted for 11 am, PDT)
« Last Edit: 09/07/2012 08:42 PM by TheFallen »

Offline david1971

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 166
  • Liked: 36
  • Likes Given: 4471
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #41 on: 09/07/2012 09:40 PM »
Locations that Endeavour/NASA 905 will fly over:


- Ames Research Center, CA (9/20)


Any Ames locals know if there will be an open-to-the-public event around this?  It'll be easier to justify pulling my kid out of school if it is more than "Hey, look up at the sky, there's the space shuttle".

Offline TheFallen

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 101
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #42 on: 09/08/2012 01:09 AM »
My assumption would be probably not. It's already a surprise that Endeavour/NASA 905 is going out of its way to travel to NoCal locations hundreds of miles away from downtown Los Angeles. And with Sacramento and San Francisco on the itinerary, I would think that the SCA would try to utilize its fuel as efficiently as possible considering the main event is touring the skies above downtown L.A.

I wonder if NASA JPL will be one of the places that Endeavour flies over once it reaches SoCal? Probably not... The fact that JPL is on the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains may pose a hazard to the two vehicles...unless the stack flies higher than the 1,500 feet altitude used for flyovers elsewhere.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2012 01:11 AM by TheFallen »

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5476
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 575
  • Likes Given: 676
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #43 on: 09/08/2012 01:45 AM »
Locations that Endeavour/NASA 905 will fly over:

[...]
- Dryden Flight Research Center, CA (9/19)
[...]

It is what, 30 miles maybe, from Dryden to Palmdale? Its difficult to believe they won't be flying past her birthplace!
-- sdsds --

Offline WheelsStop

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 137
  • San Diego, CA
  • Liked: 156
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #44 on: 09/08/2012 02:45 AM »
I wonder if NASA JPL will be one of the places that Endeavour flies over once it reaches SoCal?

The collectspace article (http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-090712a.html) specifically mentions the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood sign, and JPL as well as "other LA landmarks" (I've heard Disneyland mentioned) as flyover locations.

Local radio (KNX) also mentioned a low pass over LAX prior to landing, similar to the Dulles arrival for Discovery.

Incidentally, when the NASA jets did their photo mission a couple weeks ago, I believe they flew some segments at 3000', which would provide appropriate terrain clearance around JPL.


Offline TheFallen

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 773
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 101
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #45 on: 09/08/2012 03:08 AM »
I wonder if NASA JPL will be one of the places that Endeavour flies over once it reaches SoCal?

The collectspace article (http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-090712a.html) specifically mentions the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood sign, and JPL as well as "other LA landmarks" (I've heard Disneyland mentioned) as flyover locations.

Local radio (KNX) also mentioned a low pass over LAX prior to landing, similar to the Dulles arrival for Discovery.

Incidentally, when the NASA jets did their photo mission a couple weeks ago, I believe they flew some segments at 3000', which would provide appropriate terrain clearance around JPL.



Thanks for the heads-up, WheelsStop! I'll hopefully be at LAX to see Endeavour's arrival on September 20...but I'll mention this to one of my friends who happens to work at JPL :)
« Last Edit: 09/08/2012 03:09 AM by TheFallen »

Offline scotty125

  • Museum Docent/Leicester City Fan
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #46 on: 09/08/2012 01:42 PM »
Thanx to WheelsStop for doing the leg work around LAX.  Looks like either the Flight Path Museum or Proud Birds Restaurant for me.  I think Flight Path would be my first choice as it's relatively close to the United hanger and should be a great spot to view the landing and roll-out from.  I was stuck on a parking structure at Dulles for Discovery and had a great view for the fly-by's, but the touchdown and roll out were blocked by the terminal.
 
It's probably time to start thinking about an NSF get together.  If the 11AM landing time holds, I think I'm headed for the Science Center to check out their collection before I head back to Portland.  We could meet there, or someplace for lunch.  Anyone interested?
"He who will not, when he may, when he should, he shall have nay."
TV Commercial - Gulf Oil during Apollo Landings

Offline collectSPACE

  • The Source for Space History & Artifacts
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1860
  • Houston, TX
    • collectSPACE
  • Liked: 240
  • Likes Given: 4
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #47 on: 09/08/2012 02:45 PM »
If the 11AM landing time holds...

My understanding is that 11 a.m. is the start of the arrival ceremony and that the SCA will touchdown sometime between 11:30 a.m. and noon.

Offline scotty125

  • Museum Docent/Leicester City Fan
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 215
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #48 on: 09/08/2012 11:36 PM »
11:30 to noon would be better for me...I expect traffic to be pretty hairy even though Proud Birds is right at the threshold of 25L.  I just heard back from the Flight Path museum that they'll be closed to the public as they have been designated a media staging area.  DRAT!  And I even played the visiting docent card...
"He who will not, when he may, when he should, he shall have nay."
TV Commercial - Gulf Oil during Apollo Landings

Offline Jon Long

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • Michigan
    • STS-135: The Grand Finale
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #49 on: 09/09/2012 02:15 AM »
A friend and I are planning on going to LAX for Endeavour's arrival and would love to meet up with other NSFers.

While I've been in and out of LAX a number of times, I have no experience with plane spotting around there. Thanks for everyone's input on locations - but I am still confused on where the best spot is likely to be. I've seen Imperial Hill, the In-N-Out, Proud Birds, etc.. being mentioned. What is the consensus on the most unobstructed, accessible location?

Anyone care to take a guess on what the crowds will be like at any of these locations? I am willing to come the night before or early AM to stake out a spot and meet up with others.

Plan on bringing the DSLR and HD camcorder. I'm torn on what lens would be best for the distances expected from the runway and hanger. I'm thinking either a 28-300mm or 100-400mm, but not sure if 400mm is overkill or not. Any opinions?

So from the sounds of it, the ceremony is at 11 AM PDT with the landing shortly thereafter. What kinds of activities will be happening post-landing that would be worth sticking around for? Any ideas?

Anyone who is interested in meeting up and claiming out a spot together, please PM me. A visit to the Science Center while there also sounds like fun.
Launches: 133, 134, 135

Offline BritBoy

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #50 on: 09/09/2012 04:14 PM »
Some advice from a Brit photographer coming a long way for this...

Forget In-N-Out. Imperial Hill OK for fly-by, but no touch down. For those wanting decent shots the rollout on 25R will be a bit distant with heat haze.
Best spot will be Proud Bird. But note, only those with a pre-paid reservation for lunch buffet (25 Bucks) will be allowed access to their grounds and parking. Your names not down your not coming in... they're gonna be busy turning people away!
100-400 mil from here will be perfect. Ciao 8)

Offline ngc3314

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
    • Bill's data repository
  • Liked: 4
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #51 on: 09/09/2012 07:48 PM »
Anybody got inside info on likely viewing places for the Stennis flyover? That one at least is within a day's round-trip drive for me (and I'm still kind of let down at just missing Atlantis at Columbus AFB after STS-125 - the online flight status was just that much slow).

Offline Jon Long

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • Michigan
    • STS-135: The Grand Finale
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #52 on: 09/09/2012 07:58 PM »
Thanks BritBoy for the tips!

I made reservations at the Proud Bird today, and I'll stick with 100-400mm lens.   8)

I'm curious though, looking at Google Earth the Proud Bird is at the eastern end of runway 25R/L - which direction is the SCA expected to land from? The east or the west?

Either way, I'd imagine the Proud Bird view is only going to give nose or tail views while she's coming or going. Or am I not seeing this correctly?

Would seem Imperial Hill would give the best side on view and the rollover to the UA hangar.

Any input from those who've been to each location would be much appreciated! I'd imagine it will be so busy that once you pick a spot, you're pretty much stuck there whether you like it or not.
Launches: 133, 134, 135

Offline WheelsStop

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 137
  • San Diego, CA
  • Liked: 156
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #53 on: 09/10/2012 01:17 AM »
Thanks for everyone's input on locations - but I am still confused on where the best spot is likely to be. I've seen Imperial Hill, the In-N-Out, Proud Birds, etc.. being mentioned. What is the consensus on the most unobstructed, accessible location?

If you haven't seen it, read back a page or so in this thread - I've posted some comments on various viewing sites and sample photos at different focal lengths.

With the caveat that I've never been to Proud Birds, just based on their location, I would expect it would be good for the low passes.  Depending on obstructions, the touchdown zone might be visible but you'll be looking tail on about 1/2 mile downrange.

It doesn't appear that there's any good publicly accessible viewing access to the touchdown area.  Douglas St. is closest, but as mentioned, there are chain link fences in the way, and the area might be secured for the SCA's arrival.

In my opinion, Imperial Hill will be the best spot overall.  Proud Birds is about 1000 ft south of the Rwy 25L approach, and landing aircraft will be about about 200 AGL crossing that area.  I'm sure it would be an impressive airborne view.  Imperial Hill is about 1500 ft south of the 25L centerline, so there's not much of a distance penalty there.  While the touchdown won't be visible, you'll get to see her roll right by and there's visibility all the way to the United hangar from there.

Anyone care to take a guess on what the crowds will be like at any of these locations? I am willing to come the night before or early AM to stake out a spot and meet up with others.

Crowded, I'll expect.  When I visited Imperial Hill on a random uneventful weekend, there were a dozen or more people there.  There's a decent amount of room along the sidewalk there, but a few hundred people would fill it up.

Plan on bringing the DSLR and HD camcorder. I'm torn on what lens would be best for the distances expected from the runway and hanger. I'm thinking either a 28-300mm or 100-400mm, but not sure if 400mm is overkill or not. Any opinions?

It obviously depends on where you are, but 400mm will be somewhat overkill for the places we're talking about unless you want to zoom in on the orbiter or the SCA cockpit.  At 2000 ft distance, the SCA will fill a 200mm frame on an APS-C sensor.  Note the 747 in the photo I posted on the previous page was 200mm (on APS-C) from a distance of about 3000 ft.

I'm curious though, looking at Google Earth the Proud Bird is at the eastern end of runway 25R/L - which direction is the SCA expected to land from? The east or the west?

Unless something very unusual happens weatherwise (i.e. strong Santa Ana winds), landings will be from the east going west.  The planned landing runway is 25L.

« Last Edit: 09/10/2012 01:21 AM by WheelsStop »

Offline Jon Long

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • Michigan
    • STS-135: The Grand Finale
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #54 on: 09/10/2012 03:36 AM »
Thanks WheelsStop for the detailed reply -- you seem to have confirmed my questions about the Proud Bird.

That seems to be the place to be for the low flyby prior to touchdown, but once she's down it looks like you'll be seeing the tail and not much else. The UAL hanger would not be visible from that location either would it?

The Imperial Hill location looks best for rollout and taxing to the hangar area. Do you think there will be any low passes over LAX prior to landing, such that you would still be able to get some nice side-view shots of her from Imperial Hill?

I did review the photos you put up, and you mentioned several different locations along Imperial Ave. From what I can determine, the location of Imperial Ave. at Sheldon St. seems to be the best overall spot:

Imperial Hill (Imperial Ave. at Sheldon St.) is about 1 mile east from the above location.
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.931004,-118.411579&num=1&t=h&z=19

Given an 11 AM ceremony start, when would you realistically show up to stake out a spot? Parking is what concerns me, are there any nearby businesses that might have their parking lots open for a fee?

So you think 400mm on a 1.6x APS-C would be overkill? I would like to get some closeups of the SCA cockpit and the orbiter, which is why I thought the 100-400mm would be best. Will 100mm be wide enough from that location if she does any low flybys to still capture the SCA and any of the surrounding area, or would it be too tight?

Thanks again for doing all the scout work for those of us coming!
Launches: 133, 134, 135

Offline BritBoy

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #55 on: 09/10/2012 01:32 PM »
Roger that, the landing runway is planned to be 25L. Very little chance of the opposite 7R unless the winds are unusual. Discovery's arrival at Dulles was planned for 1R, and despite a fairly strong cross wind, made it fine.
The elevated view from Imperial will make for great views of the fly-by's before landing. As indicated, touchdown is 1.5 miles away, with the parking spot at the United hangar also distant.
The touchdown from Proud Bird is 500 yards, and should be visible through the perimeter fence. Again, the fly-by's from here will be great, with the 'money shot' being the final approach (all unobstructed) which should be awesome and very close here. After touchdown, maybe a drive up to Imperial to see them parked.
They are planning on letting those with a reservation in at 9AM (maybe earlier), so plenty of time to get set up and relax with a coffee! Hopefully the masses up the hill will not be having a nightmare with parking and getting the best spot (maybe camping out overnight there would sort that!). I was amazed at the amount of people that came out at Dulles for Discovery, and have no reason to doubt this last 'chance in a lifetime' will not have even more.
BTW, the flight up to Dulles used the callsign 'Pluto 95' and was blocked on flightaware, unfortunately.
Fingers crossed for no tech/weather delays. Ciao 8)

Offline OV135

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 194
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #56 on: 09/10/2012 02:38 PM »
I will be in LA during the first week of October.  Can the public go see Endeavour at all prior to her move to the Science Center?

Offline collectSPACE

  • The Source for Space History & Artifacts
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1860
  • Houston, TX
    • collectSPACE
  • Liked: 240
  • Likes Given: 4
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #57 on: 09/10/2012 04:12 PM »
According to the California Science Center, there will be no public access to Endeavour once it is inside the United Airlines hangar.

Offline msc

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 166
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #58 on: 09/10/2012 06:20 PM »
Locations that Endeavour/NASA 905 will fly over:


- Ames Research Center, CA (9/20)


Any Ames locals know if there will be an open-to-the-public event around this?  It'll be easier to justify pulling my kid out of school if it is more than "Hey, look up at the sky, there's the space shuttle".

Trust me, it's worth it even if it is nothing more than, "hey, look up at the sky, there's a space shuttle." 

Because, for one thing, it's not just a space shuttle, it's a space shuttle on an SCA.  Two things that you will never see in the air again, once it touches down at LAX. 

It traveled 13 hours round trip to see Discovery, and it was definitely worth it:


Missing a math class and a spelling bee would be a small price to pay.....


Online Chris Bergin

Re: OV-105 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Los Angeles)
« Reply #59 on: 09/10/2012 06:39 PM »
Wonderful news they will be taking her on such a good tour. Really nice touch for the centers and those involved with the program outside of KSC.

Tags: