Space shuttle Endeavour is making a two-day trek through the streets of Los Angeles in a historic journey to its final home at a science centre.
The shuttle was pulled across the Manchester Boulevard bridge by a Toyota Tundra pickup, and the car company filmed the event for a commercial after paying for a permit, turning the entire scene into a movie set complete with special lighting, sound and staging.
Endeavour's terrestrial journey began before dawn on Friday when it departed from the Los Angeles International Airport, rolling on a 160-wheeled carrier.
Friday evening it stopped as crews spent hours transferring the shuttle to a special, lighter towing dolly. Then around midnight, it travelled over a bridge across Interstate 405, one of the trickiest parts of its complicated journey.
Crews preparing for the crossing had to take down power lines, leaving about 400 residents of surrounding Inglewood without power for what was expected to be several hours.
After passing the bridge, crews began the lengthy process of returning it to the original carrier, before resuming its journey early on Saturday.
Another tricky part comes later on Saturday when Endeavour treks through a narrow residential street with apartment buildings on both sides. With its wings expected to intrude into driveways, residents have been told to stay indoors until the shuttle passes.
At a top speed of 3.22km/h, it is trundling 19km past diamond-shaped 'Shuttle Xing' signs to the science museum, where it will be the centrepiece of a new exhibit.
On Friday, hundreds of camera-toting spectators gathered to gape as the 77,110kg Endeavour inched by with its tail towering over streetlights and its wings spanning the roadway.
After an initial bumpy ride and a brief delay, the shuttle pulled off a massive feat of parallel parking by backing into a shopping centre parking lot for a layover as crowds cheered on.
'This is unlike anything we've ever moved before,' said Jim Hennessy, a spokesman for Sarens, the contract mover.
Spectators flocked to the parking lot in the Westchester neighbourhood to get a glimpse of Endeavour, which was guarded by an entourage of police, private security and construction crews.
After a nine-hour layover, Endeavour hit the streets on Friday afternoon towards the suburb of Inglewood. As it rolled past front lawns, some homeowners climbed on their roofs for a better view.
The shuttle took an hours-long break as crews re-routed power lines, causing temporary outages to several hundred homes.
Shuffling a five-storey-tall shuttle through urban streets was an undertaking that took nearly a year to plan. Because the 23.7m wingspan hangs over footpaths in some locations, police enforced rolling street and footpath closures along the route.
The baby of the shuttle fleet, Endeavour replaced Challenger, which exploded during liftoff in 1986, killing seven astronauts. It thundered off the launch pad 25 times, orbited Earth nearly 4700 times and racked up 197.9 million km.
Transporting Endeavour required a specialised carrier typically used to haul oil rigs, bridges and heavy equipment. The wheels can spin in any direction, allowing the shuttle to zigzag past obstacles. An operator walks alongside, controlling the movements via joystick. Several spotters along the wings are on the lookout for hazards.
Before Endeavour could travel through the streets, some 400 trees were chopped down, cable and telephone lines were hoisted, and steel plates were laid down to protect the streets and underground utilities.
Endeavour will mostly travel on wide boulevards with some boasting as many lanes as a freeway. While there have been advance preparations, there was remaining work to be done during the move, including de-energising power lines.
The route was selected after ruling out other options. Dismantling the shuttle would have ruined the delicate heat tiles. Helicoptering it to its destination was not feasible. Neither was crossing on freeways since the shuttle is too big to fit through the underpasses. The cost of transporting it cross-town was estimated at more than $US10 million ($A9.79 million).