Endeavour travels to Science Center


Visitors trickled into Exposition Park early Sunday morning awaiting a glimpse of the 85-ton space shuttle Endeavour after its arrival at the California Science Center was delayed for more than 12 hours. By the time the shuttle turned into Exposition Park at around 11 a.m., a large crowd of families, students and residents had camped out with their cameras in a parking lot adjacent to Vermont Avenue.

Touchdown · The space shuttle Endeavour takes its final mission on Saturday night down Martin Luther King Boulevard on its way to the California Science Center. Endeavour arrived at the museum Sunday afternoon. – Alex Rose | Daily Trojan

Beginning early Friday morning, crews worked to transport the shuttle 12 miles from the Los Angeles International Airport to its permanent residence at the California Science Center in Exposition Park across from USC. The shuttle finally reached the museum just after 1 p.m.

An exhibit featuring the shuttle will open Oct. 30, according to Kenneth E. Phillips, the museum’s curator for aerospace science. The museum will also host “Spacefest,” an event featuring NASA experts and astronauts, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 4.

Originally, officials predicted the shuttle would arrive at Exposition Park between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Saturday evening. The shuttle, however, encountered a series of delays, which included obstacles such as trees and telephone poles.

After leaving late Saturday night, Shubham Sharma, a graduate student studying computer science, returned Sunday at 9:30 a.m. to spot the shuttle. Sharma said the shuttle is important for providing an example of how education can have a greater impact when it is applied to reality.

“We have to get in touch with the actual implementation of what we study in college so we have to get an up-close look at it,” Sharma said.

Similarly, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the shuttle’s presence will encourage more students to pursue science-related careers.

“This is more than just a great part of our space program finding its resting home here in L.A. at the Science Center,” Villaraigosa said. “The shuttle Endeavour has inspired a new generation. Young kids — students on the schoolyard watching the shuttle Endeavour fly over the sky -— came back into their classrooms and said, ‘I want to be an astronaut. I want to be a scientist. I want to be an engineer.’”

The shuttle display will include an exhibit in the main California Science Center building, Phillips said.

The process of moving the shuttle cost about $10 million and was sponsored by the California Science Center foundation, Phillips said. The foundation paid NASA $14.5 million for the orbiter so they could prepare Endeavour for display.

Currently, the shuttle is resting horizontally in the display pavilion, which is located between the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Natural History Museum. By 2017, the museum plans to exhibit the shuttle vertically, although designs have not been decided, Phillips said.

Several parents said they came so their children could watch the shuttle slowly make its way to the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion.

“I wanted my kids to experience seeing the shuttle up close and personal,” said Edgar Flores, who lives near Exposition Park. “It’s a historic moment. They need to be involved in these sort of things.”

14 replies
    • Gabriel
      Gabriel says:

      Gabriel imposter,

      Give it up. You are just making yourself and the Greeks you purport to represent look foolish. If you disagree with anything I wrote in previous discussions, try a reasoned discussion.

    • chambo622
      chambo622 says:

      mamartinez:

      I’m not sure what you saw, but when I was out on MLK on Sunday, I saw quite the opposite. It was a surreal experience. There was an amazing number of people. It infused the local economy for sure…there were dozens of street vendors, and local restaurants were clearly booming. Everyone cheered as it went buy. There were dozens and dozens of tree trimming trucks, police, etc (John would have loved it). Most importantly everyone seemed to share a common pride in America…it needs to happen more often. I saw online somewhere that LAPD had made zero arrests related to the event over the entire three days (they were literally everywhere, so it would have been hard to pull something). There were people of all socioeconomic backgrounds – both those of lower income/education that reside in the local neighborhood, and those that traveled in to see it. I don’t think anyone felt affronted or marginalized. They felt proud to be Americans.

      • mamartinez
        mamartinez says:

        Hi. You misunderstood. I mean the space program, generally. This is an example o the excess and wasted money — we have money for this, and related missile defense/delivery related systems r&d — but no money for food, education, housing, and health care. Believe: those of us living in disadvantage would rather have food in our bellies than shuttles at some museum. Or in outer space.

        • chambo622
          chambo622 says:

          I understand where you’re coming from. Still, to argue the opposite point, NASA is a tiny sliver – only 0.3% – of the federal budget, so even if 100% of its funds were diverted, it would do little if anything to solve these other problems you mention. I’d argue it’s an absolute bargain considering the great benefits that it has brought to society through the innovations that come from it.

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