Title: Endeavour, the Final Space Shuttle, Begins Its Journey to the California Science Center
In a much-anticipated event, the final space shuttle ever built, Endeavour, along with its massive external tank, ET-94, is all set to embark on its final journey this month. The California Science Center is eagerly preparing to house Endeavour in its brand new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.
It has been over a decade since anticipation began building for the arrival of Endeavour at the new museum wing. The excitement reached new heights with NASA’s decision in 2011 to send Endeavour to Los Angeles. Signifying the end of an era, Endeavour will be displayed in a full-stack arrangement, configured as if ready for launch.
The highlight of this remarkable journey is the movement and vertical orientation of the colossal 65,000-pound, 154-foot-long external tank. The tank will be carefully lifted and attached to the solid rocket boosters, while Endeavour will be attached to the external tank. This marks the first time a shuttle designed for space will be assembled vertically outside of a NASA or Air Force facility.
To ensure that space enthusiasts around the world can witness this historic event, the California Science Center plans to stream the lift of the external tank and Endeavour online. The much-awaited movement of the tank to the museum wing’s construction site is scheduled for January 10.
On the evening of January 11 or the morning of January 12, with the assistance of two cranes, the external tank will be lifted into a vertical position. Once in place, Endeavour’s existing exhibit space, the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion, will make way for its final destination. The orbiter will be moved onto the lawn, located north of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and south of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Navigating through State Drive will require careful maneuvering to avoid striking buildings as the space shuttle makes its triumphant procession. By the end of the month, Endeavour will be symbolically lifted into position, standing tall in its vertical position.
The completion and public opening of the new museum are a few years away, with an estimated cost of $400 million. A fitting tribute to the late Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist, Samuel Oschin, the aerospace museum wing will be named in his honor.
The arrival of Endeavour in California holds a special significance as it was originally built in Palmdale and has had a profound impact on the region’s aerospace industry. This homecoming showcases the rich history and legacy of the space shuttle program, allowing visitors to appreciate its contributions to scientific exploration and technological advancements.
As the final US space shuttle prepares for its triumphant retirement, the McCreary County Record eagerly awaits the grand opening of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, where Endeavour will inspire and educate future generations about the wonders of space exploration.