The California Science Center Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Arrival in Los Angeles

Press Release / September 21, 2022

LOS ANGELES, Ca. - Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Space Shuttle Endeavour’s arrival in Los Angeles. On September 21, 2012, Endeavour completed a cross-country trip on the back of the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, culminating in a flyover past millions of people and some of California’s most beloved and iconic locations: The Golden Gate Bridge, the California State Capitol, and the Hollywood sign, among others. Just a few weeks later, 1.5 million people lined the streets during the historic 12-mile journey across town from LAX to the California Science Center, before Endeavour opened to the public in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion to fulfill its enduring mission—to educate and inspire. Since that opening day 10 years ago, nearly 18 million guests from across the world, of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, have visited the California Science Center.

“As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Endeavour's arrival, one of the most rewarding things to reflect on is how everyone throughout California, Los Angeles and our local community came together to enthusiastically welcome home our national treasure,” said California Science Center President, Jeffrey Rudolph. “That journey was just the beginning of Endeavour’s enduring mission to inspire future generations of scientists, engineers and explorers.”

While Endeavour has inspired millions in the last decade on display, the best is yet to come. Roughly one year from now, Endeavour will go off exhibit to prepare to be moved to the partially constructed Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, a major expansion of the California Science Center. Once there, it will undergo the technically challenging lift to a ‘ready-to-launch’ position, never before done outside of a NASA facility. Endeavour will remain off-exhibit until the official opening of the Air and Space Center.

The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will be a launchpad for creativity and innovation to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers. It will nearly double the California Science Center’s educational exhibit areas with an impressive artifact collection of aircraft and spacecraft, integrated with hands-on exhibits; providing a fitting permanent home for Endeavour in an awe-inspiring 20-story-tall vertical configuration complete with solid rocket boosters and an external tank, in what will be the world’s only display of an authentic space shuttle system.

“We remain immensely proud that NASA chose the California Science Center to be the permanent home and steward of Space Shuttle Endeavour,” notes California Science Center Curator of Aerospace Science, Dr. Kenneth Phillips. “After a nationwide competition to select the final homes of these retired spacecraft, the California Science Center was rankedfirst overall, with NASA citing our prime location for reaching millions of people, our educational mission and our free general admission as key factors in their decision-making process. We’re pleased to be able to have the opportunity to reach an even wider audience in the future, with the opening of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.”

During this exciting time with construction underway on the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, the California Science Center Foundation welcomes contributions at all levels from the public to help complete this ambitious project. Supporters can join Team Endeavour, sponsoring one of the space shuttle's thermal tiles to assist the California Science Center Foundation's efforts to create the new Air and Space Center. Gift levels start at $1,000 with monthly payment options available. Go to EndeavourLA.com to find out more.  

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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 interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films. 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, Los Angeles. The Science Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Parking is $15.