Aft Skirt Installation Will Be First Milestone toward Lifting Space Shuttle
Endeavour into Vertical Launch Position for New Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center
July 6, 2023 – Los Angeles, CA, On July 20, 2023 - Space Exploration Day - the California Science Center will commence Go for Stack, the complex process of moving and lifting each of the space shuttle components into place for Endeavour’s upcoming, awe-inspiring 20-story vertical display in the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, currently under construction. 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, will mark the first Go for Stack milestone and lay 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.
The roughly six-month Go for Stack process will start with the installation of the aft skirts, on top of which the solid rocket motors 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 Air and Space Center building will be completed around the full shuttle stack.
After more than eleven years on display at the California Science Center, 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.
“Endeavour will be the star attraction of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, a launchpad for creativity and innovation that will inspire future generations of scientists, engineers and explorers,” said Jeff Rudolph, President and CEO of the California Science Center. “We are grateful to be at this point in the construction of the new Air and Space Center, and thrilled to start Go for Stack on July 20 to commemorate Space Exploration Day.”
With an impressive artifact collection integrated with hands-on exhibits, the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will be a major expansion that will double the Science Center’s educational exhibit space, adding 100,000 square feet and 100 new educational exhibits. Guests of all ages will be encouraged to investigate scientific and engineering principles of atmospheric flight and the exploration of the universe. The Air, Shuttle, and Space Galleries will provide a unique educational opportunity for our Los Angeles community and guests from around the world, general admission free. The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is 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. Building construction is underway, and together with artifact and exhibit installation, 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.
About the EndeavourLA Campaign
A project of this scope and scale requires the visionary support and leadership of the philanthropic community. EndeavourLA is the California Science Center Foundation’s $400 million fundraising campaign that has enabled the acquisition and temporary display of Space Shuttle Endeavour and supports our plans to build the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center and sustain ongoing exhibits, programs and operations. With commitments totaling $320 million to date, the campaign’s balance will be raised during the remainder of the construction period. To learn more, visit EndeavourLA.org.
About the California Science Center
The California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and large-format movies. Its mission is 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 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm. Please check the Science Center web site for updates at CaliforniaScienceCenter.org.
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Kristina Kurasz Cutting
California Science Center
[email protected] | 213-744-7446