NASA donates retired Shuttle Endeavour to Los Angeles museum
Apr 12 2011
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today congratulated the California Science Center (CSC) of Los Angeles on its selection by NASA to receive the retired Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2012.
“This is a terrific decision by NASA and a fitting recognition of the thousands of Californians who have dedicated their life’s work to developing, operating and maintaining the Shuttles for nearly 40 years,” Senator Feinstein said. “By choosing the respected Science Center in South Central Los Angeles, visitors and students throughout Southern California will have the opportunity to see a Space Shuttle in person and be inspired to pursue careers in science and math.”
In July, Senator Feinstein wrote NASA Administrator Major General Charles F. Bolden (Ret.) to ask that NASA donate one of the retiring Space Shuttles to a California-based institution. CSC is California’s official science museum and one of the largest and most visited science museums in the country.
Feinstein added, “Today’s announcement honors the essential contribution of California’s astronauts, technicians, engineers and physicists and the critical role they played in America’s space leadership and record of scientific innovation.”
Beginning in 1972, the five Space Shuttle orbiters were fabricated in Downey, Calif., and assembled in Palmdale, Calif. Each of the shuttles was tested at Edwards Air Force Base north of Los Angeles. Until 2005, the Palmdale facility was the primary repair depot for the Space Shuttle, and since the program’s inception in 1981, Edwards Air Force Base has served as the secondary landing site for the shuttle, welcoming home 53 of NASA’s 132 shuttle missions.
The California Science Center currently has a NASA-supported special math-science magnet elementary school. In partnership with the Los Angeles Unified Schools, the program educates minority and disadvantaged children from all over Southern California.