Join the California Science Center this week as they celebrate the new position of The Endeavour! Exactly eleven years after Space Shuttle Endeavour made its 12-mile journey across the streets of Los Angeles and Inglewood, the California Science Center invites the public to come out and watch the arrival of two large Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs), the next phase of Go for Stack—the complex, multi-phase process of moving and lifting each of the space shuttle components into place for Endeavour’s upcoming awe-inspiring 20-story vertical display. I previously announced that HERE.
The SRMs, donated by Northrop Grumman, have been stored at the Mojave Air and Space Port, and are the final elements of the space shuttle system to arrive at the California Science Center. The components that will make up the world’s only authentic, “ready-to-launch” space shuttle stack include the orbiter Endeavour, two Solid Rocket Boosters, and an External Tank.
The SRMs comprise the largest part of the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs). During the space shuttle program, twin 15-story reusable SRBs would work with the space shuttle main engine to ignite and produce more than 6-million pounds of thrust—the majority of what was needed to lift a shuttle off the launch pad. After burnout, the SRBs would be jettisoned into the ocean to be recovered, refurbished, and reused.
“Eleven years after Endeavour’s memorable crosstown journey, we’re delighted to invite the public to join us once again to be a part of this next historic arrival,” said Jeffrey Rudolph, President and CEO of the California Science Center. “The arrival of the SRMs will propel us one step closer to the completion of the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, which will serve as a launchpad for creativity and innovation and will inspire future generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers.”
The SRMs will be transported by freeway until the last leg of their journey to the California Science Center. After exiting the 110 freeway the morning of October 11, the motors will travel northbound along Figueroa Street beginning at 7:30 a.m. from 43rd Place to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. At 8:00 a.m. the SRMs will pause at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard before a ceremonial “finish line” at 39th Street at 8:45 a.m. The public is invited to gather along Figueroa Street from 43rd Place to 39th Street to join the celebration and watch the momentous arrival until 9:00 a.m. Although spectators are encouraged to utilize public transportation, parking will be available in the California Science Center visitor parking at the Blue Structure. Guests should enter the parking structure via Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Hoover Street. This will be the best opportunity for the public to witness any stage of Go for Stack in person, due to safety precautions and space constraints around the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center construction site. For more information about the SRM arrival, visit californiasciencecenter.org/goforstack.
The California Science Center will open an hour early at 9:00 a.m. on October 11 as part of a Solid Rocket Motor Arrival Celebration. Guests may explore Space Shuttle Endeavour and the three flown capsules from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs; learn from expert aerospace volunteers and experience hands-on educational demonstrations; and enjoy the café and gift shop.
California Science Center President and CEO Rudolph further stated, “We want to express our immense gratitude to the City of Los Angeles staff and leadership who have worked to ensure we have the best possible plan to safely deliver the SRMs to the California Science Center.”
The roughly six-month Go for Stack process began in July withthe installation of the Solid Rocket Booster Aft Skirts. Next the Solid Rocket Motors and forward assemblies will be stacked to form the Solid Rocket Boosters. This will be followed by the move and lift of the External Tank, ET-94; then, Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final move across Exposition Park and lift into place by a large crane; and finally, the intricate mating of the orbiter with the rest of the space shuttle stack. Once finished, Endeavour will be in a vertical configuration towering 200-feet tall. The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center building will be completed around the full shuttle stack.
December 31, 2023, will be the last chance to see Endeavour on exhibit for several years until the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center opens to the public. While Endeavour is off exhibit, the California Science Center remains one of the largest science centers in the nation, with multiple hands-on exhibit galleries, special exhibitions, and IMAX movies for guests to experience.
The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is a 200,000 square foot expansion that will double the Science Center’s educational exhibit space, adding an impressive collection of 100 authentic artifacts integrated with 100 new hands-on exhibits. Guests of all ages will be encouraged to investigate scientific and engineering principles of atmospheric flight and the exploration of the universe in three major galleries – the Aviation, Shuttle, and Space Galleries. As the third phase of the California Science Center’s three-phase, three-decade master plan to develop one of the world’s leading science learning centers, the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will provide a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity for our Los Angeles community and guests from around the globe, general admission free. Construction is underway and the building is expected to be completed in 2025, with artifacts and exhibit installations to follow.
The California Science Center Foundation is actively fundraising to complete this ambitious project with $50 million left to raise toward the $400 million EndeavourLA Campaign goal. Everyone can help realize this exciting vision for the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, and donations at any level are welcomed. To contribute or learn more, go to EndeavourLA.org.