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Shuttle Endeavour: Father wants 3 sons to 'open their eyes to possibility'

September 21, 2012

Some planned to make a mad dash outside as the space shuttle Endeavour flies over the L.A. region, but others decided to not even bother and take the day off.

Sam Saldana let his three young sons skip school to watch the Endeavor at Griffith Observatory to "open their eyes to possibility."

"We're from a pretty rough part of town. I wanted to show them something different," said Saldana, a machine operator from Pacoima.

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Saldana, who works the 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. shift, brought his sons over at 7 a.m.

"I feel like a zombie, but it's worth it," he said.

Maybe after seeing the fly-by, his 5-, 7- and 9-year-old sons -- who were all dressed in their blue polo school shirts and khakis -- will want to become astronauts or engineers, Saldana said.

The plan was to take them to school for a half-day when the event is over, he added.

"They can see this and maybe want to do that one day," Saldana said while looking out over the Hollywood Hills.

Rosie Rea took the day off with plans to go to the L.A. County Fair, but she changed her mind when she heard the Endeavor would be flying by the Griffith Observatory.

Although she probably could have seen it from her office at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the patient-account representative from Alhambra said she wanted to see it up close.

"This is as close as you can get," Rea said.

She immediately called her friends and family when she found a spot with her friend, Lilia Espino.

"They were jealous," Rea said as she browsed astronaut costumes at the observatory's gift shop.

The shopping was for her 7-year-old great-grandson, she said.

He doesn't want to be an astronaut right now, but after Rea gets him the costume, "he's going to want to be."

-- 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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