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Shuttle Endeavour: Crowds swarm at Griffith Observatory as anticipation for flyover builds

September 21, 2012
(Raul Roa/Staff…)

Enthusiasm at Griffith Park for the flyover of the space shuttle Endeavour was palatable Friday morning as swarms of people converged up the mountain for a prime viewing spot.

Among them, Carla Torres of La Mirada.

She said at 6 a.m., newscasters were saying the parking lot at Griffith Observatory was nearly full.

"We better go," Torres recalled saying as she rounded up her husband and four of her five kids.

They arrived around 7 a.m. to get a viewing spot for the space shuttle Endeavour’s L.A. flyover, but still had to park nearly a half-mile down the mountainside.

They weren’t not the only ones.

Matthew Jordan Smith from Los Angeles arrived around 6:30 a.m. with his new mega-zoom lens he bought for the occasion in tow.

He also had to park far down the hill, but he didn't plan to hike up like the others carrying backpacks, blankets and cameras. Smith found a spot where he could capture the shuttle passing by the observatory.

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He had planned to get out of the house an hour earlier, but he said his alarm didn't go off.

"It's not everyday you see this,” Smith said.

Michael Labomme from the L.A.-area didn't expect the crowd to be so big, so early,

"I figured it would be a lot of people, but not this many," Labomme said.

 --Brittany Levine, Times Community News, at Griffith Observatory

Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ or Twitter: @brittanylevine

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FULL COVERAGE: Endeavour: Final Journey

Don't forget to tweet your photos and observations to City Editor Jason Wells: @jasonbretwells and @lanow with the hashtag #SpotTheShuttle or #Endeavour, and include where you are.

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