LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The California Science Center became the official owner of the space shuttle Endeavour Tuesday at a title-transfer signing ceremony attended by the astronauts who were aboard the shuttle on its final mission
NASA announced in April that the Endeavour would be permanently housed at the Science Center — returning the shuttle to the state where it was built more than 20 years ago.
Endeavour is expected to arrive next year at Los Angeles International Airport and then be towed through the streets to the museum near downtown Los Angeles.
“Please don’t scratch it,” shuttle Cmdr. Mark Kelly joked to the crowd attending the ceremony at the Science Center.
Kelly, the husband of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was joined at Tuesday’s ceremony by fellow Endeavour astronauts Michael Fincke, Gregory Johnson, Roberto Vittori and Andrew Feustel, along with actress June Lockhart
of the classic television series “Lost in Space.”
“Isn’t it wonderful to have a mode of transportation that when the pink slip is turned over, it does not lose value when you take it off the lot,” she joked.
The space shuttle Discovery will be retired at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, while Atlantis will be displayed at the Kennedy Space Center visitors’ complex in Florida and Enterprise will be at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.