The California Science Center is advancing a bold project that will transform science learning and create an iconic destination for the Greater Los Angeles region. The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will dramatically expand the footprint and impact of the California Science Center, adding 200,000 square feet of space for exhibits, events and educational programs. It will include three multi-level galleries – Air, Space and Shuttle – spanning four floors and covering 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. It will also house a new Events and Exhibits Center that will host the California Science Center's exciting lineup of popular changing exhibitions, such as BODY WORLDS and KING TUT: TREASURES OF THE GOLDEN PHARAOH.
The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will integrate authentic artifacts, including a diverse collection of aircraft and spacecraft, immersive experiences and our signature hands-on, educational exhibits that encourage active learning through discovery. The new galleries will encourage guests of all ages to understand key scientific and engineering principles related to atmospheric flight and the exploration of our universe.
Air Gallery explores how the pursuit to master the sky involves tradeoffs among four forces of flight – lift, thrust, drag and weight – that affect every aircraft ever flown, whether it flies high, low, fast or slow. The Air Gallery will have three primary thematic areas: Taking Wing, At Home in the Sky and Pushing the Limits and will include approximately 20 aircraft on display. From a replica of the Wright Brothers’ 1902 Glider to modern supersonic jet fighters built from lightweight composite materials, the gallery will show the evolution of flight design through science and engineering concepts.
Space Gallery examines how the machines we build to explore space extend our reach and help transform our ideas about the universe, whether it’s with powerful telescopes that look at distant stars and galaxies, robots that go places and collect data, or spaceships designed to transport humans and protect them from lethal environments. The Space Gallery’s three primary thematic areas include Liftoff, Robotic Spacecraft and Telescopes and Humans in Space. The Science Center’s collection includes examples of spacecraft from every stage of the U.S. manned space program including the Apollo-Soyuz Command Module (ASTP), Mercury MR-2 and Gemini 11 space capsules, along with an array of engineering models of planetary probes, telescopes and Earth observation spacecraft.
Shuttle Gallery will reveal how the world’s first reusable spacecraft has helped us learn to live and work in low Earth orbit and prepare for bolder and more distant missions. The California Science Center will be the only place in the world to see a complete Space Shuttle System with a flown orbiter, Endeavour, mated to real solid rocket boosters and ET-94, the last remaining flight-qualified external tank. In addition to preserving an important part of space exploration history, guests will have an unparalleled educational experience as they view this national treasure up close from multiple angles and elevations.
The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is the primary component of Phase III of the California Science Center's 25-year Master Plan. When finished, the California Science Center will be the largest science center in the western United States.