Center Receives Endeavour Title From NASA
By Daniel Baxter
October 13, 2011 - NASA transferred title and ownership
of space shuttle Endeavour to the California Science
Center (CSC) during a ceremony Tuesday at the center in
Los Angeles. The transfer is the first step toward CSC
receiving Endeavour in the latter half of 2012.
"NASA is pleased to share this wonderful orbiter with
the California Science Center to help inspire a new
generation of explorers," NASA Administrator Charles
Bolden said. "The next chapter in space exploration
begins now, and we're standing on the shoulders of the
men and women of the shuttle program to reach farther
into the solar system."
Bolden announced April 12 that CSC was one of four institutions nationwide to receive a shuttle. After display preparation and post-mission work are complete, NASA will deliver Endeavour on the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft to Los Angeles International Airport.
From there, the shuttle will be driven through the streets of Los Angeles to its destination at the Science Center in Exposition Park. "Endeavour now will begin its new mission to stimulate an interest in science and engineering in future generations at the science center," California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph said.
Shuttle Endeavour (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-105) is one
of the retired orbiters of the Space Shuttle program of NASA,
the space agency of the United States. Endeavour was the fifth
and final spaceworthy NASA space shuttle to be built,
constructed as a replacement for Challenger.
first flew in May 1992 on mission STS-49 and its last mission
STS-134 was in May 2011. The STS-134 mission was originally
planned as the final mission of the Space Shuttle program, but
with authorization of the STS-135 mission, Atlantis became the
last Space Shuttle to fly.
States Congress authorized the construction of Endeavour in 1987
to replace Challenger, which was lost in the STS-51-L launch
accident in 1986. Structural spares built during the
construction of Discovery and Atlantis, two of the previous
shuttles, were used in its assembly. NASA chose to build
Endeavour from spares rather than refitting Enterprise or
accepting a Rockwell International proposal to build 2 shuttles
for the price of one of the original shuttles, on cost grounds.
The orbiter is
named after the British HMS Endeavour, the ship which took Captain James
Cook on his first voyage of discovery (1768?1771). This is why the name
is spelled in the British English manner, rather than the American
English ("Endeavor"). This has caused confusion, most notably when NASA
themselves misspelled a sign on the launch pad in 2007. The name also
honored Endeavour, the Command Module of Apollo 15, itself also named
after Cook's ship.
delivered by Rockwell International Space Transportation Systems
Division in May 1991 and first launched a year later, in May 1992, on
STS-49. Rockwell International claimed that it had made no profit on
Space Shuttle Endeavour, despite construction costing US$2.2 billion. On
its first mission, it captured and redeployed the stranded INTELSAT VI
communications satellite. The first African-American woman astronaut,
Mae Jemison, was brought into space on the mission STS-47 on September
In 1993, it made the first service mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Endeavour was withdrawn from service for eight months in 1997 for a retrofit, including installation of a new airlock. In December 1998, it delivered the Unity Module to the Zarya module of the International Space Station.
|?AvStop Online Magazine Contact Us Return To News|