Aug. 8, Los Angeles – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Inglewood Mayor James Butts and California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph announced details of Mission 26: The Big Endeavour, Endeavour’s journey from Kennedy Space Center to its new home at the Science Center.
Endeavour, which will be transported on top of NASA’s Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, is expected to arrive at LAX mid-day of Sept. 20. The target date is flexible, pending weather conditions at Kennedy Space Center, along the flight path and in Los Angeles.
When Endeavour arrives, it will be removed from the SCA, placed on a special transportation system and moved into a United Airlines hangar. The shuttle will stay at the hangar while final preparations for its transport and display are completed.
Endeavour will leave LAX to begin its pre-positioning journey on the morning of October 12. It will be transported with a series of moves and stops that will occur as Endeavour goes under raised transmission lines and across the 405 Freeway to arrive at Inglewood City Hall for an official launch ceremony on the morning of October 13. It will then be transported to the intersection of Martin Luther King and Crenshaw Boulevards where a celebration of Mission 26 will be produced and directed by renowned actress and choreographer, Debbie Allen. This celebration will include over 200 artists featuring the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, taiko drummers, aerialists, and more. Endeavour is expected to arrive at the California Science Center in Exposition Park that evening.
The two day journey of the five story tall (58 feet high at the tip of the tail), 78 feet wide, 170,000 pound Endeavour is expected to draw viewers from across Southern California. The route can be accessed on the California Science Center’s website at www.californiasciencecenter.org . The public is invited to serve as volunteers along the route. Those interested can sign up on the website as well.
“We look forward to everyone joining in the celebration as Endeavour travels from the United Airlines hangar to the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion,” said Rudolph. “This will mark the first, last and only time a space shuttle will travel through 12 miles of urban, public streets. It’s not only one of the biggest objects ever transported down city streets; it’s an irreplaceable national treasure. Most importantly, this marks the beginning of Endeavour’s ultimate mission of inspiring current and innovators and explorers at the California Science Center.”
“Los Angeles is a world class city that deserves an out-of-this-world attraction like the
Endeavour,” Villaraigosa said. “While we welcome the shuttle with open arms, we recognize the effect it will have on the surrounding communities, and are working hard to mitigate those impacts. It is a boon for the City’s economy and will serve as an inspiration for generations.”
Butts noted, “The procession of the Endeavor to its new home at the California Science Center will allow our children to bear witness to history, up close and personally. We are proud that the City of Inglewood will be involved in this great event.”
Don Wright, United Airlines Director of Technical Operations at LAX, noted, “As a proud partner of the California Science Center, we are pleased to host the Space Shuttle Endeavour at our facility. United Airlines co-workers are thrilled to be a part of this very exciting event for the Los Angeles community.”
Endeavour will open to the public to begin its enduring mission at the California Science Center Oct. 30, 2012. Rudolph advises those planning a visit to reserve timed-tickets in advance, in October before the shuttle’s arrival, on the Science Center’s website.
The Endeavour’s journey is made possible thanks to a team of engineers who donated hundreds of hours to take on the challenge of figuring out how to navigate Endeavour through the urban streets of Los Angeles and Inglewood, with minimal impact to the surroundings. Donations by AEG, Arup, Astrotech, AT&T, Boeing, Cordoba Corporation, David Evans and Associates, Earthquake Protection Systems, Energy Labs, DMG Corporation, Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, Jenkin/Gales and Martinez , Morley Builders, Parsons Corporation, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Psomas, Sarens Group, Southern California Edison, Time Warner Cable, Twining, Inc, United Airlines, Valley Crest and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) and the cities of Los Angeles and Inglewood will also support Endeavour’s Mission 26.
Lead donors to EndeavourLA, a comprehensive $200 million fundraising campaign to help bring Endeavour to the California Science Center, create the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, and sustain ongoing programs and operations, include: The Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation, The Ahmanson Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Melanie and Richard Lundquist, Ibrahim El-Hefni Technical Training Foundation, The Fred L. Hartley Family Foundation, The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation, and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.
The Science Center has begun designing the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, Endeavour’s permanent home. With Endeavour as its centerpiece, the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will provide guests with opportunities to investigate atmospheric flight and the exploration of our universe. This new facility will be a launch pad for creativity and innovation by integrating hands-on exhibits with a unique collection of aircraft and spacecraft to encourage active learning and critical thinking.
The California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films. Its mission is as follows: “We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people’s lives.”
The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive. The Science Center is open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Please check the Science Center web site for schedule updates at www.californiasciencecenter.org.