On November 7 and 8, two 116-foot long Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs), each weighing over 100,000 lbs., were securely lifted by crane and stacked in their final vertical position in the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. Their placement is the latest achievement in Go for Stack, the complex, multi-phase process of moving and lifting each of the components into place and reveals the dramatic scale of Endeavour’s upcoming 20-story vertical display in the world’s only authentic, “ready-to-launch” space shuttle system.

Watch video of the incredible process on the California Science Center’s YouTube page or read LA Times coverage here.

We took a thrilling hard hat tour of the construction site with California Science Center President and CEO Jeff Rudolph and exhibit team members. After a decade of planning the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center together, it’s incredibly gratifying to walk through the floors and begin to envision the artifacts and experiences that will fill the galleries!

Evidence Design is busy finalizing a wide variety of exhibits for the three-level Space Gallery. These include artifact displays (flown capsules, powerful rockets and cutting-edge robots), hands-on interactives (program a rover or experiment with telescope optics), and immersive media programs that explore our universe.

At the end of October, the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center received another significant $25 million gift from Kent Kresa and the Kent Kresa Family Foundation. Kresa is the former Chairman, President and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corporation, which also donated the Solid Rocket Motors that will be part of Endeavour’s vertical stack display. The Kent Kresa Space Gallery is named in recognition of this gift and his decades-long support to advance science learning.

To contribute or learn more, visit

On October 11, crowds lined streets in Los Angeles to welcome two large Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) on their way to the California Science Center. The SRMs, donated by Northrop Grumman, have been stored at the Mojave Air and Space Port, and are the final elements of the space shuttle system to arrive at the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.  “Exactly eleven years after Endeavour’s memorable crosstown journey, we’re delighted that the public has once again demonstrated such enthusiasm for this historic arrival,” said Jeffrey Rudolph, President and CEO of the California Science Center. 

The SRMs comprise the largest part of the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs). During the space shuttle program, twin 15-story reusable SRBs would work with the space shuttle main engine to ignite and produce more than 6-million pounds of thrust – the majority of what was needed to lift a shuttle off the launch pad. After burnout, the SRBs would be jettisoned into the ocean to be recovered, refurbished, and reused.

Evidence Design, with media partner Bluecadet, is leading the exhibit development for the 747 Experience, which will showcase the transformative technology and ongoing impact of “The Queen of the Skies.”

Korean Air has generously donated an extraordinary $25 million gift to the California Science Center. The future Korean Air Aviation Gallery will feature the forward section of a Korean Air-operated Boeing 747 commercial airliner, in which guests may experience simulated flight and discover the technology and the people that make flight possible in our everyday lives.

This gift substantially advances the California Science Center Foundation’s EndeavourLA Campaign in support of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center project. To contribute or learn more, visit

Yesterday, the California Science Center launched Go For Stack, Endeavour‘s final journey into the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. Two aft skirts, the bases of the orbiter’s solid rocket boosters, were hoisted over building’s wall and installed on a seismic-isolated pad. Over the next six months, crews will assemble the space shuttle’s other components in launch position. Watch some video of the historic day here, and visit Collect Space to learn more about protecting Endeavour from earthquakes!

The California Science Center recently announced plans for Endeavour’s final move into its permanent home in the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. Crews will begin the installation of of the twin solid rocket boosters’ aft skirts on July 20 and spend the next six months carefully maneuvering and precisely positioning all its components into launch position within the partially constructed gallery.  Then the rest of the building will be completed around the artifact — all 20 stories. As detailed in the Science Center’s press release and articles in  The Los Angeles Times and Collect Space, the complexity and technical challenges of installing the orbiter’s vertical stack are significant!

The team at the California Science Center is busy preparing various components of the shuttle stack for installation in the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center later this summer. Sections of the two solid rocket boosters (SRBs) that provided most of Endeavour‘s thrust at launch are receiving fresh coats of white paint. Meanwhile, workers are sprucing up the orange foam exterior of the massive external tank built to carry hydrogen and oxygen to power the space shuttle’s main engines. It’s getting real!

Images courtesy of the California Science Center.

We love sharing drone footage documenting progress at the Samuel Oschin Air & Space Center building site! Last Wednesday the project hit a major milestone—construction crews poured concrete for the isolator pad that will support Endeavour’s entire shuttle stack. The isolator pad is ~8 feet thick, so it was a LOT of concrete. It’s the dark gray rectangle within the rounded Shuttle Gallery in the clips below. (The Air Gallery is the yellow area; the Space Gallery is the adjacent gray area.)

The California Science Center opened Endeavour‘s 60-foot-long payload bay doors for the first time since 2014 – a significant endeavor in itself! Crane operators, former NASA contractors and museum staff installed a replica of the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS), a 50-foot-long camera-and-laser tipped extension to the robotic Canadarm that astronauts used to inspect the vehicle for damage incurred during launch or while in space. In its permanent home in the new Samuel Oschin Air + Space Center, currently under construction, Endeavour will be displayed vertically in full shuttle stack mode with one payload door will be open so guests can see inside the cargo hold as it was configured for its 20th mission, STS-118. Learn more at collectSpace.

Photos courtesy of California Science Center and Lois Huneycutt.