400 Trees Will be Cut Down to Move Space Shuttle Endeavour

Written by Megan Treacy

We often get to write about the ways that technology is helping to protect nature, but occasionally those two things are at odds. When the space shuttle Endeavour makes its way to its final home at the California Science Center from Los Angeles International Airport, the move will be a huge celebratory event, including a big parade. But in order for the shuttle to make its way through city streets on October 12, obstacles will have to be removed, including 400 trees.

Residents of the neighborhoods along the path haven’t been very happy with that news. Many of the trees are large magnolias, firs and pines that have been there for decades. The California Science Center has promised to replant twice as many trees along the route, but that has been little comfort for the area’s residents.

“They are cutting down these really big, majestic trees,” said Lark Galloway-Gilliam, a longtime Leimert Park resident and neighborhood council director to the LA Times. “It will be beyond my lifetime before they will be tall like this again.”

Alternative, non-tree-hacking options were considered, but would jeopardize the shuttle that went on 25 missions spanning nearly two decades, circled the Earth more than 4,600 times and spent 299 days in space. Taking it apart to move it would permanently damage parts of the shuttle, airlifting something that heavy (170,000 pounds) would have been impossible and the shuttle couldn’t fit under overpasses on the freeway. So, a route of wide streets free of major obstacles like bridges and buildings was chosen.

The LA Times reports, “To make way for the shuttle, some trees will be pruned, power lines will be raised and traffic signals will be removed. Inglewood will lose 128 trees, and communities in South Los Angeles about 265 trees, though the exact number has not yet been determined. Meanwhile, officials have been working to allay fears by sharing replantation plans, seeking community input at neighborhood council meetings and finding compromises where they can.”

An initial route was scrapped because it would see the removal of trees that were planted in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The replanting will start just a few weeks after the shuttle arrives the science center.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo from NASA.gov


janet T.
janet t5 years ago

More insanity. When are we going to get a clue?????????????????!

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson5 years ago

When are we going to stop?

Neil A.
Neil A5 years ago

This is so bad in fact disgraceful how could anbody think to do this, l think soridiculous & some buffoon was no doubt payed to come up with this.

Jane R.
Jane R5 years ago

This is so sad. If these large trees have to be cut down to move the shuttle, then leave it where it is!

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch5 years ago

Too bad they have decided to do this.........

Klaus Peters
Klaus Peters5 years ago

Bottom line, piggy back the Endeavour back to Florida. Lets have all NASA achievements in one place: at the NASA Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral.

Klaus Peters
Klaus Peters5 years ago

Signed, there must be a better solution to handle the situation. Surely the Endeavour should be preserved, it is an icon of the massive US contribution to space exploration and let's not forget all the spin offs in technology. Personally I think that the Endeavour should be in the NASA Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, why LA anyway? No trees will be cut down.

Rick B.
Rick Blanc5 years ago

The staff at Survive In LA does not support this action of cutting these trees. http://surviveinla.com/ Is it too late?

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

What are they thinking to do this?

Chris Wolverton
Chris Wolverton5 years ago