An exhibition that launches the Space Shuttle Endeavour into a long-range educational program to inspire future generations of explorers starts October 30, 2012.
Endeavour was built as a replacement for space shuttle Challenger – it completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles. Its journey to the Los Angeles was a feat in itself. The shuttle was mounted on top of a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA),when it performed a low flyby at Los Angeles International Airport in September and then underwent a very long, slow crawl from the airport to Exposition Park. EndeavourLA is a $200 million fundraising campaign that helped fund transporting the shuttle to the center. The campaign also helped fund the construction of the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center and current educational programs.
The Endeavour’s permanent home is still under construction but on Oct. 30 the public is invited to visit the California Science Center and see the space shuttle. Parents can pique their children’s interest in science by visiting the museum to see first-hand a shuttle that went into space and orbited the Earth. The staff at the California Science Center hopes the exhibit will stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone.
Guests can experience The California Story, an companion exhibit displaying images and artifacts related to the shuttle program and California, where the orbiters were built. The California Story gallery will also feature items that flew into space with Endeavour, such as Endeavour’s bathroom (potty), kitchen (galley) and even the tires from STS-134, Endeavour’s final mission.
Viewing the Space Shuttle Endeavour requires a timed ticket. There are no same day phone sales. Call in advance for tickets. Due to the high volume of visitors during peak times (weekday mornings and weekend afternoons), timed ticket entry may be delayed by 10-20 minutes to ensure an optimal guest experience. Note: tickets are non-refundable.
Click this link to read up on some fun facts about the shuttle and the space program. Print out the facts and create a conversation with the kids on the way to the museum. Maybe there is a budding astronaut waiting to be discovered.
California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Michelle Mears-Gerst is a writer in Orange County. Photo credits: Getty, Shuttle Club, Olivia Hemaratanatorn Close.