Endeavour Space Shuttle lifted into final ‘liftoff’ display position

Space Shuttle Endeavour gets ready for its final resting place

Space Shuttle Endeavour gets ready for its final resting place


Excitement is in the air as the Space Shuttle Endeavour moves into its permanent home at the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.

“This feels surreal. It’s been so long I’ve been waiting 34 years for this moment,” said Kenneth Phillips, curator of aerospace science at the California Science Center and one of the brains behind this first-of-its-kind project.

A 450-foot crane began lifting the Endeavour late Monday to attach it to its full tank and two rocket boosters, which will make it the only shuttle in the world to be displayed like it’s ready for liftoff. It was hoisted to a vertical position and was inching closer to the tank and boosters.

Space Shuttle Endeavour
Space Shuttle Endeavour is lifted into the site of the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center on Jan. 30, 2024, in Los Angeles.

Ashley Landis / AP

The center’s chief concern is the wind swinging the space shuttle as it erected into a tight space. 

“When we actually bring it in to attach to the external tank, all the materials are really fragile,” California Science Center President Jeff Rudolph said. “We don’t want to damage the space shuttle.”

The Endeavour first blasted into orbit in 1992, completed 25 missions and helped crews prepare the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronauts also took the Endeavour to add the first U.S. component to the International Space Station.

Its final flight was on the back of a Boeing 747 in 2012 as officials took it to Los Angeles. Getting it to the science center took three days.

“I’m really excited,” Rudolph said. “I’m very proud of what we accomplished and a little nervous.”

Phillips hopes the fixture becomes a symbol of what can be achieved, no matter how complicated it may seem.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *