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L.A. museum prepares to display space shuttle Endeavour

Beginning in the fall, it will be kept in a temporary hangar at the California Science Center until its permanent home is built there.

March 12, 2012|By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
  • The once high-flying space shuttle Endeavor will soon move to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
The once high-flying space shuttle Endeavor will soon move to the California… (NASA )

The California Science Center will soon begin construction of an aircraft hangar for the space shuttle Endeavour, the museum's president said.

The hangar will be built northwest of the state-run museum, near downtown Los Angeles, Jeffrey N. Rudolph, president of the science center, said. Construction is scheduled to begin in a couple of weeks.

The temporary climate-controlled home will allow the museum to make Endeavour available for public viewing within weeks of its arrival in the fall. During that time, it will be displayed horizontally.

The museum will then build a permanent Air and Space Center, and Endeavour will be its centerpiece.

Endeavour is now at NASA's Cape Canaveral in Florida. Moving the space ship from Los Angeles International Airport to the science center will probably take an entire day.

The shuttle is so large that crews will have to dismantle traffic signals, cut trees and close roads so it can pass through the city. The move is expected to happen on a Saturday.

The California Science Center is one of three museums nationwide to receive a retired space shuttle; a fourth is receiving the prototype Enterprise. NASA will move space shuttle Discovery from Florida to the Washington, D.C., area April 17, and to the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., on April 19.

The Enterprise prototype, now at the Udvar-Hazy center, will move to New York City on April 23. In June, it will be moved by barge to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum complex.

The Atlantis will remain in Florida and be displayed at the Kennedy Space Center's visitor complex.

rong-gong.lin@latimes.com

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