Gayle Anderson reports eleven years after the meticulous and monumental transportation of Space Shuttle Endeavour along the streets of Los Angeles, another piece of the puzzle will make its way to the California Science Center.
Wednesday morning, two large Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) are being transported along the 110 Freeway, before navigating surface streets as it makes its way to the museum.
They are expected to arrive at the California Science Center’s ceremonial “finish line” at 39th Street around 8:45 a.m. The public is invited to watch their arrival in person and take part in the celebration.
In their original lifetimes, the SRMs were part of the propulsion system that was responsible for producing 6 million pounds of thrust and launching the shuttle into space. After burnout, the Solid Rocket Boosters would be jettisoned from the craft and left to fall into the ocean where they would be recovered, refurbished, and then reused, officials said.
The SRMs have been in storage at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Kern County and were a gift from Northrop Grumman. They are the final components needed for the California Science Center’s ambitious plans to display the Endeavour upright, 20 stories high, complete with the Solid Rocket Motors and a massive orange external fuel tank.
Once completed, it will be the only authentic “ready-to-launch” space shuttle stack in the world.
In October 2012, the American public and Los Angeles residents watched with anticipation as Endeavour arrived at LAX and was transported to the museum on the campus of USC. The space shuttle, which flew 25 missions between 1992 and 2011, navigated trees, traffic signs and parked vehicles along its historic journey.
In 2016, the last surviving Space Shuttle external tank was transported to the California Science Center from New Orleans via the Panama Canal. It then arrived at Marina del Rey where it navigated a 16.5-mile journey to the museum.
Endeavour, the SRMs and the external tank will be mounted together and elevated into a vertical position inside the soon-to-be-built Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. The public’s last chance to see the Endeavour in its current horizontal display is Dec. 31, 2023.
Space Shuttle Endeavour
Exhibit Closes Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023
California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Drive
“Go for Stack”
Endeavour at the New Samuel Oschin Air & Space Center
California Science Center
If you have questions, please feel free to contact Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732, email Gayle at Gayle.Anderson@KTLA.com, Facebook: Gayle Anderson, Instagram and Threads: ktlachannel5gayle, and Twitter: KTLA5Gayle.
This aired on the KTLA 5 News at 10 a.m. on Oct. 11, 2023.