TODAY   |  October 13, 2012

Endeavour inches along in final mission

After a 19-year run and 123 million miles of space travel, the shuttle Endeavour is making the two-day journey on its way to its retirement home and the California Science Center in Los Angeles. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> the main attraction in los angeles this weekend has nothing to do with hollywood or even entertainment. folks have been lining up to see the space shuttle endeavor as it makes its way to its permanent home in southern los angeles . the two-day move is a logistical challenge like no other.

>> reporter: even in the smallest hours of the night, the shuttle endeavor, beginning its 26th and final mission , drew clouds of admirers.

>> to be that close to it, it was very, very exciting.

>> reporter: and where endeavor once circled the planet at 17,320 miles an hour, now it was being pulled at two miles an hour. its five-story height and 75-foot wingspan just clearing one carefully surveyed obstacle after another.

>> last night i saw it was about two inches away.

>> reporter: it was born in southern california , one reason nasa chose the science center for a final tiedown. it's a dream realized for kenneth phillips, who has long realized his city to get a feel for the danger and romance of space flight .

>> it's the real deal you're looking at.

>> reporter: and look at it they've been doing. thousands along the 12-mile route of what has been called the mother of all parades in his city.

>> it's just an icon of america.

>> really a phenomenal experience.

>> reporter: there have been complainted about the 400 trees cut down along the route, though they'll be replaced two for one. some residents, the fact that they can't get close to the spectacle in their neighborhood.

>> they're going to close off the streets so that we can't even be on the sidewalk.

>> reporter: but endeavor's logbook is about to record its final entry. it's the real thing.

>> every scorch mark you see, every dent that you see, everything that is there is revealing what the orbiter did and why it did it.

>> reporter: it's the real thing. its work done now headed for home.