Community & Green Trends

Endeavour Come Home

The Space Shuttle Endeavour

The Space Shuttle Endeavour has made it to the new exhibition at the California Science Center. The famed spacecraft — which was built right here in Los Angeles — will be on view at the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion at the Science Center. The Endeavour will reside here until the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, a new addition to the Science Center, is completed. Guests of the Science Center can get up close and personal with the spacecraft, (without actually touching) and be educated and inspired by the miracle of atmospheric flight and the exploration of our universe.

The California Science Center was thrilled when selected by NASA to be the guardians of Endeavour, and set about to develop the new Space Center project. Several big name sponsors have come forward to help fund the project, most notably from the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation who made a significant donation to the Science Center. Said Lynda Oschin of the generous gift, “Today pays tribute first and foremost to my husband, and his passion for discovery, philanthropy and the pursuit of knowledge. This is Sam’s vision and represents truly everything my husband dreamed, loved and believed in — children, education, inspiration, creativity, science, math, space and astronomy, adventure, exploration, innovation, discovery, engineering and commitment.”

The space shuttle Endeavour is an important part of the history of United States and our country’s contributions to space exploration. The Endeavour completed 25 missions into space, and carried the people and the equipment for the journey that put the first US made component into the International Space Station as well as providing transportation for the first service mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Endeavour was all about people too; Endeavour carried the first African American female astronaut (Mae Jemison), the first Japanese astronaut (Mamoru Mohri), and the first married couple (Mark Lee and Jan Davis) in space!

One of the most exciting sections of the space shuttle Endeavor exhibit is The California Story. The space shuttle Endeavour was built right here in Southern California. A local company called Rocketdyne built the main engines in Canoga Park. These are the big round black circular engines in clusters of three at the base of the shuttle. They are literally the parts that power the shuttle up into orbit. As the shuttle took off for each orbit, engineers sitting at the Rocketdyne operations center in Canoga Park would monitor the pressure and temperatures of the engines and report back to Mission Control or Launch Control in Houston and Florida respectively. Clearly this was a major part of the process of launching the space shuttle.

The space shuttle Endeavour was named using the British spelling because it was named after the British ship that Captain James Cook sailed in 1768, on his first voyage of discovery. Rumor has it that even NASA misspelled the name putting the American spelling version on the launch pad in 2007! The space shuttle Endeavour was the last space shuttle in the NASA space shuttle program. It is the end of an era as Endeavour finds her final resting place at California Science Center, and we visit this grand lady, we’ll all get to enjoy learning more about the awesome splendor and wonders of space travel! Welcome Endeavour!

California Science Center

700 Exposition Park Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90037


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