Endeavour was still inching toward a hangar on the grounds of the museum mid-Sunday afternoon.
"It's like Christmas!" said Mark Behn, 55, a member of the museum ground support team who watched the shuttle's snail-like approach from inside the hangar. "We've waited so long and been told so many things about when it would get here. But here it is, and it's a dream come true."
Movers had planned a slow trip, saying the shuttle that once orbited at more than 17,000 m.p.h. would move at just 2 m.p.h. in its final voyage through Inglewood and southern Los Angeles.
But that estimate turned out to be generous, with Endeavour often creeping along at a barely detectable pace when it wasn't at a dead stop due to difficult-to-maneuver obstacles such as tree branches and light posts.
Another delay came in the early hours Sunday when the shuttle's remote-controlled, 160-wheel carrier began leaking oil.
Despite the holdups, the team charged with transporting the shuttle felt a "great sense of accomplishment" when it made it onto the museum grounds, said Jim Hennessy, a spokesman for Sarens, the contract mover.
"It's historic and will be a great memory," he said. "Not too many people will be able to match that - to say, 'We moved the space shuttle through the streets of Inglewood and Los Angeles.' "
Transporting Endeavour cross-town was a costly feat with an estimated price tag of $10 million, to be paid for by the science center and private donations.
At every turn of Endeavour's slow-speed commute through urban streets, spectators jammed intersections as the shuttle shuffled past stores, schools, churches, and front yards through the working-class streets of southern Los Angeles. Sidewalks were off-limits due to Endeavour's enormous wingspan.
Endeavour's arrival in Los Angeles was a homecoming. It may have zipped around Earth nearly 4,700 times, but its roots are solidly grounded in California. Its main engines were fashioned in the San Fernando Valley. The heat tiles were invented in Silicon Valley. Its "fly-by-wire" technology was developed in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey.