Oct 11, 2012 6:07 PM by NBC News
(NBC NEWS) - After 25 missions, millions of miles in space and thousands of miles logged during its final fly over Space Shuttle Endeavour is about to travel the final leg of its journey.
Beginning early Friday morning it will be carried from Los Angeles International Airport across the streets of Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center.
The 12 mile journey dubbed "Mission 26" is quite an endeavor on its own.
With top speeds of just two miles an hour, the shuttle will be just inches away from buildings at some points along the route.
To clear the path the city cut down nearly 400 trees and removed some 200 street lights and 60 traffic signals.
Crews also had to install steel reinforcements along parts of the streets to accommodate the 78 foot wide, 170,000 pound spacecraft.
Captain Mark Kelly served as commander of Endeavour's final space mission and is thrilled about its new home.
"It's great to have one of these amazing space shuttles here in California on this side of the country. Millions of people go to the California Science Center," he says.
Kelly says fans will get an extra treat when visiting Endeavour.
"They're going to try to display it in the vertical with an external take and solid rocket boosters, like its on the launch pad," he explains. "It will be pretty exciting."
Built in southern California, the move is a homecoming for Endeavour, which will be the only shuttle displayed on the west coast.