Gayle Anderson reports on the California Science Center’s special “Go for Stack” process, the complex process of moving and lifting each of the space shuttle components into place for Endeavour’s upcoming, 20-story vertical display in the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, which is currently under construction. The process continued on Nov. 7 with the installation of two solid rocket motors.
This technically challenging feat has never been done outside of a NASA facility. The installation of the two aft skirts, the base of the solid rocket boosters, in October marked the first “Go for Stack” milestone and is the foundation upon which the entire shuttle stack will be built. This is the first step in creating the world’s only display of an authentic, “ready-to-launch” space shuttle system, complete with the orbiter Endeavour, solid rocket boosters and external tank.
After more than 11 years on display at the California Science Center, Dec. 31 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 the final phase of the California Science Center’s three-phase, three-decade master plan to develop one of the world’s leading science learning centers. Building construction is underway. Together with artifact and exhibit installation, it is expected to take several years.
The California Science Center Foundation is actively fundraising to complete this ambitious project with $320 million raised toward the $400 million EndeavourLA Campaign goal. Everyone can help realize this exciting vision, and donations at any level are welcomed. To contribute or learn more, go to EndeavourLA.org.
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.
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.
Space Shuttle Endeavour
Exhibit Closes 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
Samuel Oschin Air and Space 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.
Gayle Anderson reports for the KTLA 5 News on Nov. 7, 2023.