California dreamin’: A new museum exhibit documents Endeavour’s final journey


The Space Shuttle Endeavour is a big draw for the California Science Center in Los Angeles, its new home since being decommissioned from operation. For the next few months the Endeavour will have a companion exhibit, “Mission 26: The Big Endeavour,” a photography display of more than 80 images documenting the Endeavour’s flight over California, plus the 68-hour, 12-mile journey Endeavour undertook through city streets to reach the Samuel Oschin Pavilion at the California Science Center.

“Moving Space Shuttle Endeavour across the United States was a massive, complex undertaking. In September, 2012, Endeavour took flight and was carried on the back of a specially equipped Boeing 747 aircraft from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida to Dryden Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, California,” according to a statement by the California Science Center.

In its flight and on the ground journey, the Endeavour passed many California landmarks, many of which are featured in the exhibit. Through photographs in the exhibit, visitors can also learn about the coordination that it took to navigate the city streets of Los Angeles and Inglewood to reach its destination. Over 100 people and numerous citywide agencies were involved in the mission to get the Space Shuttle from the air force base to the museum. The exhibit shows the spectacle of the Space Shuttle, which is 78 feet wide, 57 feet high and 122 feet long, as it passed by onlookers, buildings and other L.A. landmarks.

The Mission 26 exhibit will be open at the California Science Center from March 11 through September 2, 2013. Since Endeavour’s installation on October 1 of last year, the museum has seen more than a million guests. The Mission 26 exhibit will likely bring in a few more visitors while it runs through the summer.

(Image via Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)