The Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands at California ScienCenter

Last weekend we finally got over to the California ScienCenter to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour. And to say we saw it is a ginormous understatement. It’s out of this world, RMT’ers.

Space Shuttle Endeavour on display at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion at the California ScienCenter.

Space Shuttle Endeavour on display at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion at the California ScienCenter.

The engines of Space Shuttle Endeavour. We estimated them at around 10 to 15 feet in diameter. In other words, this is a large vessel.

The engines of Space Shuttle Endeavour. We estimated them at around 10 to 15 feet in diameter. In other words, this is a large vessel.

T peeks at the plans for the permanent home for Space Shuttle Endeavour.

T peeks at the plans for the permanent home for Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Endeavour is certainly a sight to see in person (and walk under, etc.). To think that a space shuttle can be transported on the back of a commercial aircraft is mind-boggling because it really is that massive. It is on display now in the horizontal position, bays closed, but there are plans for a vertical exhibit that will showcase Endeavour with its bays opened, allowing visitors to get close-up views at all levels of the various shuttle controls and components within the next five years. It goes without saying that this will be quite the undertaking, both in construction and in costs, so if you are interested in donating to the cause, I am sure the California ScienCenter would love to hear from you.

Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California ScienCenter.

Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California ScienCenter.

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I believe this is the banner (signed by those along the transport route) that accompanied the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its land journey through Los Angeles on its way to the California ScienCenter.

Another view of Space Shuttle Endeavour at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion at the California ScienCenter.

Another view of Space Shuttle Endeavour at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion at the California ScienCenter.

With much fanfare and professional production on several levels, Endeavour relocated to the Samuel Oschin Pavilion in October. As anyone in Southern California recalls, the transport of Space Shuttle Endeavour was quite the feat, complete with road closures, tree removals (and double if not triple the tree replants), and truck tows. I guess you could say it was quite the… endeavor. However, it all now seems like a small inconvenience for what now is becoming quite the monument to the space industry all near where much of the shuttle’s mission, program, and history began.

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While general admission to the California ScienCenter is always free (donations are encouraged, we usually give $10 for our family of two adults one child), visitors wanting to see the shuttle need to purchase a timed-entrance ticket for the Samuel Oschin Pavilion and Endeavour exhibits either online ahead of time for the day-time preferred, or you can walk up the day-of at the IMAX box office located outside on the south side of the main building (right outside of the main lobby and counter at the museum’s entrance and escalators). Tickets for all-ages are $2 each.

It's a space potty! I love that a group in a room somewhere at some point in time thought about exactly the perfect exhibits to lure and hold a five-year-old's interest. Good job, California ScienCenter and Space Shuttle Endeavour staff!

It’s a space potty! I love that a group of people brainstormed in a room somewhere at some point in time and gave proper consideration to the types of exhibits that would be perfect at luring and holding a five-year-old’s interest. At least I think this is why there’s a space toilet on display! Good job with the potty training, California ScienCenter and Space Shuttle Endeavour staff!

SpaceHab modular cargo holds like this one flew aboard the various shuttles to transport cargo and materials to the International Space Station.

SPACEHAB modular cargo holds like this one flew aboard the various shuttles to transport cargo and materials to the International Space Station. This and other artifacts are on display at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion at the California ScienCenter with Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Since we have a five-year-old, we opted to take a chance on day-of tickets last Saturday morning. We waited about 10 minutes or so, and we were able to get an entrance time of 10:45 a.m. (we got to the window just after 10 a.m.; the museum opens at 9:30 a.m.). Not bad at all! I think it also helps that we’d delayed our visit a couple of months since the exhibit opened on October 30. While of course it is still quite popular and busy on the weekends, at least our endeavor to see the shuttle wasn’t in vain. Actually, it was quite easy and not much of an endeavor at all… well, of course it was an Endeavour. OK, I’ll stop right there (sorry, I like puns).

The dinosaur puppet show at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. We got to see T-Rex this time.

The dinosaur puppet show at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. We got to see T-Rex this time.

T has a question for "The Scientist" at the dinosaur show at the Natural History Museum of LA County.

T has a question for “The Scientist” at the dinosaur show at the Natural History Museum of LA County.

So T didn't have a question. He just wanted make sure everyone knew that T-Rex ate meat.

So T didn’t have a question. He just wanted make sure everyone knew that T-Rex ate meat. And kids.

T and C in their Perry the Platypus shirts at the platypus exhibit at the Natural History Museum of LA County. Peerrrrr-yyyy!

T and C in their Perry the Platypus shirts at the platypus exhibit at the Natural History Museum of LA County. Peerrrrr-yyyy! I am sorry about the red-eye, RMT’ers. I just got a new laptop and the Windows Photo Viewer does not have the easy red-eye reduction tool at hand for easy editing. Windows 8 also continues to be a complete mystery to me as well.

After our visit at the California ScienCenter, we headed next door to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. We took in one of the dinosaur shows, where T got to ask a lot of questions afterward of the “scientist” (he might be a scientist in real life, too, but he was the actor from the show who played a scientist). After that, we made a special effort to find the platypus exhibit. Why, you ask? Well, T and C were wearing their Perry the Platypus shirts from our recent vacation. We figured we should go and see the real deal so that T doesn’t only think that a platypus is a cartoon character on one of his favorite shows.

T and I at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion checking out Space Shuttle Endeavour. The shuttle came to its new permanent home October 2012 at the California ScienCenter.

T and I at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion checking out Space Shuttle Endeavour. The shuttle landed at its new home, the California ScienCenter, in October 2012.

We had a great Saturday out last weekend. Now the true endeavor begins: Planning THIS weekend. The countdown begins now, and with just a few more hours to go!

Other than that “big game” (and its commercials) on TV this Sunday, what are you up to this weekend, RMT’ers?

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