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Endeavour Up Close
updated: Sep 29, 2012, 9:19 PM

By Max Rosenberg

Today was a once in a lifetime event for me. I was invited to go with my United Airlines Airbus Pilot friend, Greg McLychok, and his son, Sean, to The United hangar at LAX to view the Endeavor Space Shuttle. United Airlines had an employee lottery and allowed a few people from each area of the United family to come visit the shuttle. Greg was only one of 50 out of 700 LAX based pilots to win this lottery. Greg could bring two people and we had to register in advance. We drove to LA Airport this morning mindful of 405 Carmageddon and via the shoreline route arriving at LAX just as the show was opening at 9:00 am. We stayed the allotted two hours and left at the closing time of 11:00 am. Word for the day: AMAZING!

Some notable impressions:

Awesome to see Endeavor at the end of a hallway walking into the United Engine Shop. The moment I saw Endeavor I was covered in chicken skin! Breathless! So exciting!

It is surprisingly rough. Heat blankets cover all of the white areas and the tiles have all sorts off re- entry burn streaks.

It is about the same size as a 737.

The engine area is amazingly clean and simple looking.

The sheer number of heat absorbing tiles is mind boggling. Each is numbered and unique.

To say it was one of my most amazing adventures would be under selling this time. This was right up there with meeting my wife for the first time and having our child. If you are a aviation buff or space enthusiast, you must see this amazing space machine.

We should all be grateful NASA and all of the people behind this amazing program and, especially, to the shuttle families who lost loved ones during the darkest moments of the shuttle's program during the loss of the Challenger and the Colombia.

God Speed shuttle program.

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