Go For Payload, Part 2
The repopulation of Endeavour’s payload bay continued through October, as the California Science Center carefully installed flown artifacts and reproduction components to replicate the payload configuration of the orbiter’s 20th spaceflight, STS-118. Go For Payload activities concluded with the closing of the 60-foot-long doors – sealed until Endeavour is in her permanent vertical launch display in the new Samuel Oschin Air & Space Center. Until then, a few final photos of the shuttle opened wide.
Go For Payload
The California Science Center spent much of this month readying Endeavour for permanent display in a delicate operation dubbed Go For Payload. Under the careful guidance of Project Director Dennis Jenkins, the orbiter’s payload bay doors were opened and various equipment installed, including a flown SPACEHAB, a module that extended work and living space for shuttle astronauts.
When the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center opens in 2018, Endeavour will be displayed in a vertical launch position with one of the doors open. "Being able to see inside the shuttle is essential for Endeavour's enduring mission of advancing science learning," notes California Science Center President Jeffrey N. Rudolph.
Scroll through the photos to see highlights from Go For Payload, and click here for local news coverage.
During our September trip to California, the EVD team got to go INSIDE Endeavour’s middeck and flight deck – what a thrill! We poked all around the tight quarters, took loads of pictures of ourselves and the detailed instrumentation and hardware, and asked a million questions of our tour guides, former NASA engineers who are currently repopulating the shuttle with equipment that will be visible when the Endeavour moves to its permanent home in the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. Thank you Dennis Jenkins and the team at CSC for the amazing opportunity to play astronaut.
Sting Like a Hornet
The display aircraft just keep landing! This week the California Science Center placed its newly acquired Boeing F/A 18 Hornet on a high outdoor pedestal where it can be admired by curious visitors (and not sting anyone) until finding a permanent home inside the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. This versatile aircraft is one of the staples of the U.S. Navy, often seen in Blue Angels demonstrations – check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH7j185hotE. F/A-18s also served as the chase planes for the Endeavour’s transport to Los Angeles on September 21, 2012.
The Harrier is Here!
In August, the California Science Center Foundation became the proud recipient of two-thirds (by weight) of a two-seat Harrier T.4, fresh off the boat from Great Britain. Its missing wings, and other key parts, arrived on different container ship. You knew it looked funny, right?
The Harrier, roughly equivalent to the US Marine Corps TAV-8A, flew with the Royal Air Force No. 20 Squadron and No. 233 OCU, but is currently painted (inaccurately) as a Royal Navy airplane. It will be temporarily displayed at the Western Museum of Flight in Torrence, California until permanently installed in the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.
Stuff is flying and pumping and spinning and burning all over the place! Most of the prototyped exhibits are at the California Science Center, where museum staff is testing them with select visitors. We’re learning a lot about what works best and how to interpret the science behind the hands-on experiences. We love playing for work!
Let the prototyping begin! To work the kinks out of some of the more complex mechanical exhibits slated for the new galleries, the California Science Center has hired a number of local firms to fabricate and test prototypes. A very worthwhile exercise -- challenging but also super fun to see these ideas come to life. A few peeks at the pieces and parts:
Fill her up! This week our friends at the California Science Center opened Endeavour, climbed through the hatch to reconfigure some payload bay items and repopulate the middeck with lockers seats, cargo bags, and the escape pole. Now to fill that giant payload bay…
Nuts and Bolts
Dennis Jenkins, Project Director of the Phase III expansion and expert on all things related to the Space Shuttle, performed some fun show and tell at our Workshop this month. He’s just unloaded trucks from NASA filled with artifacts, including various nuts, bolts and washers that attach Endeavour to the External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters. Serious hardware... can’t find this stuff at Lowe’s.
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