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Huge rocket motors arrive at Los Angeles museum for space shuttle Endeavour display

by Chloe Baker
3 comments
Endeavour Exhibit

Two immense rocket engines necessary for the exhibition of the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour, positioned as if poised for a liftoff, reached their destination at a Los Angeles museum on Wednesday. This marked the culmination of their extensive journey from the Mojave Desert.

These colossal motors, measuring 116 feet in length (equivalent to 35.3 meters), bear a striking resemblance to oversized white cylinders. Over the course of two days, they were transported from the Mojave Air and Space Port to Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, where the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is currently under construction to house the Endeavour.

Generously provided by Northrop Grumman, these motors constitute the most substantial segments of the two solid rocket boosters that would typically be affixed to a space shuttle’s external tank. Their purpose is to assist the main engines in propelling the orbiter away from the launch pad.

Several hundred spectators, including schoolchildren, observed the transportation process—a remarkable spectacle in the ongoing multi-year endeavor to prepare the Endeavour for permanent vertical display, evoking the sensation of liftoff.

In 2012, the colossal shuttle was transported to Los Angeles International Airport aboard a NASA Boeing 747, and subsequently, it was painstakingly maneuvered through city streets to its current museum location. The enormous external tank, likewise, arrived via barge and underwent a similar journey through the city.

The assembly of the shuttle, known as the “stack,” consisting of the boosters, external tank, and orbiter, will be finalized prior to the completion of the museum’s construction around it.

Endeavour’s illustrious history includes 25 missions undertaken before NASA’s three-decade-long space shuttle program drew to a close in 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Endeavour Exhibit

Q: What is the significance of the arrival of these rocket motors in Los Angeles?

A: The arrival of these rocket motors in Los Angeles is significant because they are essential components for the exhibition of the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour. These motors, generously donated by Northrop Grumman, represent the largest parts of the solid rocket boosters used to propel the space shuttle into orbit. Their arrival marks a crucial step in the process of preparing Endeavour for permanent display in a liftoff position at the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.

Q: How were these rocket motors transported to Los Angeles?

A: The 116-foot-long rocket motors were transported from the Mojave Air and Space Port to Los Angeles over the course of two days. They were trucked to their destination, covering the distance from the Mojave Desert to LA’s Exposition Park. This transportation process involved careful planning and execution to ensure the safe delivery of these massive components.

Q: What is the ultimate goal of displaying Endeavour in a liftoff position?

A: The goal of displaying Endeavour in a liftoff position is to provide a captivating and educational experience for visitors. By positioning the space shuttle as if it’s about to blast off, it allows people to get a sense of the incredible engineering and technology behind space exploration. It serves as a testament to NASA’s achievements and offers an opportunity for the public, including schoolchildren, to learn more about space history.

Q: What is the history of the space shuttle Endeavour?

A: Endeavour had an illustrious history, flying 25 missions as part of NASA’s space shuttle program before the program concluded in 2011. It was transported to Los Angeles International Airport aboard a NASA Boeing 747 in 2012 and then moved through city streets to its current museum location. The shuttle’s history is intertwined with the broader history of human space exploration and scientific research in space.

Q: What is the next step in the process of preparing Endeavour for display?

A: The next step in the process is the completion of the “stack,” which involves the assembly of the boosters, external tank, and orbiter. This assembly will be finalized before the rest of the museum’s construction is completed around it. Once the stack is complete, Endeavour will be displayed in its liftoff position, offering a remarkable sight for museum visitors interested in space history and exploration.

More about Endeavour Exhibit

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3 comments

StarGazer99 October 13, 2023 - 11:54 pm

The stack assembly sounds so cool! Can’t wait 2 see Endeavour in its liftoff pose.

Reply
SciFiGeek October 14, 2023 - 3:47 am

This is like a sci-fi dream come true. Space shuttle in a museum, awesome!

Reply
HistoryBuff123 October 14, 2023 - 2:00 pm

The Endeavour is a great piece of history. Thx 2 Northrop Grumman, we can all see it in LA now.

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