Space Shuttle Endeavour is on the move again.
The shuttle, covered in a protective white wrapping like an aerodynamic egg, will make another giant leap toward its final destination Friday when it is slowly transported across Exposition Park so crews can delicately lift it into launch position at its new home on the California Science Center campus.
“This is very surreal moment,” said Dr. Kenneth Phillips, aerospace curator at the California Science Center. “I’m very happy.”
Shuttle moving day is just one part of a the plan to display the shuttle in its upright launch position at the Science Center’s new 200,000-square-foot Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. The addition will nearly double the Science Center’s educational exhibition space and include three multi-level galleries, themed for air, space and shuttle.
Endeavour’s move comes 13 years after it retirement. The 122-foot-long shuttle will be moved Friday on a self-propelled transporter at a crawl toward its new home. Early next week, it will be lifted into upright position by a 450-foot-tall crane.
The shuttle will be lifted over the Oschin Center walls, then nestled into position between two solid rocket boosters and next to a 65,000-pound external fuel tank known as ET-94. Those components, part of the launch-ready configuration, were earlier moved into place.
Endeavour had been on display horizontally at the Science Center for more than a decade after its spectacular arrival in Los Angeles on the back of an airliner. When the project is complete, Endeavour will be the only launch-ready display of a former NASA space shuttle in the world.
An opening date for the $400 million center has not yet been determined.
Source: NBC Los Angeles