I took this image on September 21,2012 when the Endeavour flew over Long Beach on its way to LAX. Now nearly six and a half years later, I've finally made it to California Science Center to check out its new home.
California Science Center is free 10 AM-5 PM every day but parking is $12. Take the escalator up to the left, for a tour of the companion exhibit to learn about some of the 2.5 moving parts that make up the Space Transportation System (STS), known as the Space Shuttle.
Waste Collection System - Space Potty
The microgravity environment of orbit requires human waste to be pulled away from the body like a vacuum cleaner.
This system adds hot or cold water to food and drinks contained in vacuum sealed packs.
ROSC - Rocketdyne Operations Support Center
This mock-up showed how engineers at ROSC in Canoga Park, CA remotely monitored the space shuttle main engines for the first eight and a half minutes of all 135 launches.
Street CrawlThere was also a short film showing time-lapse photography of the street crawl the Shuttle and the massive External Tank (ET-94) took to reach their final home.
Leaving the companion exhibit, you go back down stairs and out the back of the building to the Samuel Oschin pavilion. On the way, look to the right and you will see the tip of the 154 foot ET-94.
So close, yet so far away.
There were several "do not touch" signs but since the Shuttle is suspended 15-20 feet overhead it would be difficult to touch.
SSME - Space Shuttle Main Engine35 of the 51 SSMEs that flew during the shuttle program were used on the Endeavour.
HMS Endeavour was the ship Captain James Cook took on his first voyage (1768-1771). Our Endeavour even took a piece of wood from Cooks ship into outer space.
SPACEHABOriginally intended to house tourists, it became a module for businesses to conduct space experiments.
View into SPACEHAB24,200 ceramic tiles make up the Thermal Protection System (TPS). Each tile is custom made to fit a specific spot. The black tiles shed heat, the white, reflect solar radiation. They are so fragile you can bread one by hand.
September 7, 1995Mission STS-69 was the second flight of the Wake Shield facility (WSF) a saucer-shaped satellite that could fly free of the Shuttle.
May 16, 2011During its last mission (STS-134) there were 4 spacewalks.
In service from May 1992 to May 2011, the Endeavour conducted 25 missions.