LOS ANGELES (CBS) —  The Space Shuttle Endeavour has been cleared for landing at a Southern California museum.

According to NASA, after Endeavour’s final mission at the end of March, it will journey to the California Science Center in Exposition Park, where it will be put on exhibit.

Endeavour was built in Palmdale, beginning in 1987. It was finished in 1991 and replaced the destroyed Challenger shuttle in the space program.

When its final mission is completed, Endeavour will have traveled 115 million miles during 25 flights, carrying 139 people into orbit. It was the final shuttle built, but was the first to include safety improvements such as a drag parachute deployed on landing, and nose-wheel steering to prevent wear on the tires during runway rollout.

The announcement came on the 30th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s first shuttle, Columbia. The remaining two shuttles, Discovery and Atlantis, will go the Smithsonian Institution for its branch in northern Virginia and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, FL. New York City will get the prototype Enterprise, which was used for test flights in the 1970s and housed at the Smithsonian.

KNX 1070 Report: NASA Names California Science Center As New Home Of Space Shuttle Endeavour

The museums beat out 21 other museums and visitor centers to host the three retiring shuttles.

The shuttle program is winding down with only two more flights left, including Endeavour’s final mission in March and Atlantis’ in June.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (16)
  1. Sandy Staley says:

    Oh I can’t wait to see it. My son and I are enthusiasts of the shuttle. We were talking bout it yesterday bout NASA should bring one to California. Can’t wait to tell him.

    1. Den says:

      I didn’t think Los Angeles had any chance among the competing cities of being the permanent home to a space shuttle but it’s great news and I am looking forward to going downtown along with visiting friends and relatives to see this.

  2. KC says:

    Right On !!!!!!

  3. KC says:

    NASA should have it land at Edwards AFB !!!

  4. Neil Armstrong says:

    I am so there…looking forward to seeing it. Wish we had space shuttles back in my day.

  5. Robert S. says:

    Hard to understand why we are cutting space flights, its a shame the legeslators do such a “pis poor planning and bugeting job in this country.

    1. catholic-bulletin.blogspot.com says:

      I think we need to appropriate money to some other important matters like homeless people in downtown Los Angeles.

      1. Marcus says:

        catholic- bulletin
        “I think we need to appropriate money to some other important matters like homeless people in downtown Los Angeles”

        Or maybe we could use some of the funds the catholic church in paying out in the 30 thousands pending child sexual abuse cases .

  6. jerome says:

    So what is NASA gonna do now, are still going into space or is that it.

  7. ginny25 says:

    I hope they plan on housing it inside a secure building because of the area it is going to. What are the plans for that, or are they going to place it in the current building somehow? I’m thrilled that it is coming back to CA and that so many kids will have a chance to see it.

    1. Marissa says:

      First they have to get it there and it’s not going to be easy going through the streets of Los Angeles.

  8. Steve says:

    Will it be landed at LAX, then towed there?

    1. catholic-bulletin.blogspot.com says:

      Triple A will do the towing in 405 freeway during rush hour.

  9. Christina says:

    I guess if they aren’t going to do space flights anymore then I guess no more need for astronauts. Kind of sad! Poor kids dreams of becoming an astronaut shut down.

  10. Dave says:

    This is great news ! I just can’t understand why some people are so against California getting a shuttle. As we all know, all of them were designed, built, and tested here in California.

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