Following a flight on the back of a modified Boeing 747 aircraft to LAX and traversing Los Angeles roads, the historic NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour is on temporary display in the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion California Science Center, also called the California ScienCenter, in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, California.
The California Science Museum is in the process of building a new wing, to be called the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, which will serve as Endeavor’s permanent home. There, this majestic space structure embarks on its new mission: to commemorate past achievements in space, to educate and inspire future generations of aerospace engineers and explorers, and to mark the end of an era.
Mark Kelly, commander of Endeavour’s last space mission, has called the space shuttle “a testament to American engineering and ingenuity” and “the most amazing spacecraft ever built, by far.”
It is cliché, but this bittersweet event truly does mark the end of an era. The 30-year NASA space shuttle program came to a close this past summer, and all the space shuttles have since been retired. Yet, there is a silver lining: Commercial innovators and investors are helping to ensure human space flight’s bright future. This geek enjoys aerospace history and is glad to bear witness to the paradigm shift from public to private space programs; it’s exciting, indeed.
This space geek also humbly offers his appreciation to all the women and men that enabled the Endeavour to travel more than 122 million miles, accommodate 154 crew members, and safely complete its journey to the California ScienCenter.