Space Shuttle Endeavour Returns To California

The Space shuttle Endeavour returned Thursday to California on a wistful journey over the country that paid homage to NASA workers and Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, an astronaut.

A 747 jet carrying the space shuttle will take off again on Friday morning to make an appearance over Sacramento, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles skies stopping at the Los Angeles International Airport where Endeavour will be prepped for a slow ride on a special flatbed trailer through city streets next month and ending as a museum showpiece.

Endeavour’s has been delayed twice during the past days due to stormy weather along the Gulf of Mexico and on Wednesday it departed from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida where crowds were looking for the space shuttle to appear in the sky.

Space shuttle Endeavour flew 25 times, where its mission was mostly to supply the International Space Station and spent 299 days in space and circled Earth nearly 4,700 times, logging 123 million miles.

Picture Gene Blevins  /  Reuters

Noe I. for Windows of the World

Advertisements

Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban Joining American Idol

After three months of speculation, Fox announced that Nicki Minaj and country star Keith Urban are joining the judges panel for this upcoming American Idol season. Other two already confirmed judges are Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson, replacing J-Lo and Steven Tyler who departed at the end of last season.

Host Ryan Seacrest remains, while Jimmy Iovine is expected to give his commentaries as always.

Carey’s contract with the show is worth close to $18 million while Minaj will pocket $8 million for her part and Urban will get half the price. Ryan Seacrest earns $15 million a year and his commitment is for two more years, while the new judges are in for one year.

Hopefully the new judges will bring more public after years of declining ratings.

Auditions for Idol kicked off in New York City Sunday and other cities as Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte and San Antonio are next. Mariah shared this pictureof the judges and Ryan on Instagram

American Idol returns in January 2013.

Noe I. for Windows of the World

American Airlines Flight Returns to Miami International Airport After Bird Strike on Thursday

An American Airlines flight headed for Cali, Colombia returned to Miami International Airport after a possible bird strike during its takeoff Thursday afternoon, airport officials said.

American Airlines confirmed shortly before 7 p.m. that it was indeed a bird strike, but mechanics determined the impact was small and that the plane is safe to fly, NBC News reported.

Flight 921 had 161 people on board.

No injuries have been reported.

Stay with NBCMiami.com and NBC 6 for updates.

After flooding, ‘The Lion King’ returns to stage at the Arsht Center in Miami

The Arsht Center reopened Tuesday to a packed house and dry floors, two days after ceiling leaks washed out one of its most popular shows.

“I’m anxious to see how the performance is going to be,” said Keya Thompson, 35, of Miami Gardens.

She only had to wait a little while. After a 10-minute delay, the Lion King went on, with the crew strutting on stage of the Ziff Ballet Opera House, one of two buildings that make up the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Tuesday’s night showing of the Lion King capped a two-day scramble at the county-owned concert hall, which was drenched during the Sunday showing of the Disney musical.

An internal pipe hooked to the roof’s drainage system burst sometime before the second act Sunday, and soon water was gushing from the ceilings and light sockets through the hall’s lobby, walkway and four-story atrium.

Managers stopped the show and evacuated the more than 2,500 audience members, who were forced to slosh through ankle-deep water on their way to the exits.

Clean-up crews working 24 hours a day rushed to get the theater cleaned in time for Tuesday’s show. Three industrial-sized dehumidifiers were posted outside. They were connected to large hoses pumping air out of the hall in an effort to remove moisture from soaked drywall, carpet and other areas left soggy by the internal downpour.

Late Tuesday, there were only a few signs of Sunday’s soggy adventure. Visitors outside the third tier could look up and see streaks of water damage on the ledge jutting out above them.

“We’re ready to go, the house is open,’’ said John Richard, Arsht Center president and CEO. “Over 2,000 people will be here. Some of these people bought tickets over a year ago and are delighted we’re open.”

Read more of this story on The Miami Herald.