The California Science Center in Los Angeles has announced the closure of its highly popular exhibit featuring the space shuttle Endeavour. After an 11-year run, the exhibit will officially close its doors on December 31, 2023. This exhibit has provided visitors with unparalleled access to the spacecraft, allowing them to walk around and even go beneath it.
However, space enthusiasts need not despair as the science center has exciting plans for Endeavour’s next display. The shuttle will be positioned vertically, with the help of a pair of solid rocket boosters and an external tank. This unique exhibition will be housed inside the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, currently in the construction phase at LA’s Exposition Park.
Although the work to prepare Endeavour for its vertical display is expected to be completed in early 2024, the building and its exhibits will not be ready for public visitors for a few more years. This means that those who leave the science center on December 31, 2023, will be the last to catch a glimpse of Endeavour in its current exhibit.
During its 11-year exhibition, the pavilion attracted nearly 20 million visitors. Endeavour became more than just a space shuttle, serving as the backdrop for various events, premieres, and even movies.
As a temporary measure, the California Science Center will set up a preview exhibit to showcase the upcoming vertical display of Endeavour. This exhibit will also feature a few space shuttle artifacts to keep visitors engaged during the transition period.
It is worth mentioning that despite the closure of the Endeavour exhibit in Los Angeles, space enthusiasts can still marvel at the other two flown orbiters. Discovery and Atlantis remain on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, respectively.
With the impending closure of the Endeavour exhibit, visitors are urged to plan their trips accordingly to bid farewell to this iconic spacecraft before it embarks on its new vertical display.
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