This week the California Science Center took a major step in preparing space shuttle Endeavour for permanent display in the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. In a highly coordinated series of events the center dubbed Go For Payload, the doors of the payload bay were carefully opened and various equipment installed, including a replica airlock and flown SPACEHAB, a module that extended work and living space for astronauts. Go For Payload activities will continue until the end of October, at which point the doors will be closed again for several years.

When the new 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.

View the CBS local news coverage or View all our images of Endeavour.

And BRAVO to the team at CSC!

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. F/A-18s also served as the chase planes for the Endeavour’s transport to Los Angeles on September 21, 2012.

During our September trip to California, the EVD team got to go inside Endeavour’s mid-deck 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 California Science Center for the amazing opportunity to play astronaut.

This month at our monthly workshop (#36!) Evidence Design (EVD) was treated to yet another interesting event in the life space shuttle Endeavour as the orbiter was opened to remove her water tanks. Project manager Dennis Jenkins posted the following newsletter refereeing to this procedure:

Greetings from Los Angeles,
The International Space Station Program requested the potable water tanks from Atlantis and Endeavour for possible future use aboard ISS. The OV-104 tanks were removed in May; OV-105 gave up her tanks this week. Here are some photos of the operation. Mark Kelly (STS-134 CDR) and Drew Feustel  (STS-134 MS3) made guest appearances while the ship was open. The removal has no affect on the outer mold line so nobody will ever know they are missing.

A great crew came from KSC to perform the work. They treated the ship with the care and respect she deserves. CollectSPACE ran a nice article

We are proceeding with the design of the new building and planning for stacking OV-105 with ET-94 and a set of boosters. Two years and counting… More info and pictures.

Congratulations to the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago (MSI)!!! Last night at the American Alliance of Museum’s annual conference, Future Energy Chicago won a Gold MUSE award, which recognizes an institution that uses Media and Technology to enhance an experience and engage an audience. “[T]he Muse awards celebrate scholarship, community, innovation, creativity, education and inclusiveness.”We are proud to have been a part of Future Energy Chicago from the beginning, collaborating the MSI team, media partners Potion Design and Donna Lawrence Productions, as well as multiple specialty consultants, to create this unique exhibit experience that uses media, interactive technology and collaborative gaming to imagine our energy future. Bravo everyone!

Hosted by Nik Honeysett, former chair of the Media and Technology Network, representatives of the Future Energy Chicago team spent an evening of irreverence and celebration at the 25th Annual MUSE awards at this year’s American Alliance of Museums  (AAM).  Shari Berman of EVD shared the event and the Gold MUSE Award  with our partner in all things daring and bold, Kurt Haunfelner, Vice President of Exhibits and Collections at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, along with Abbey Palmer of Potion Design. (You may not have recognized us in our disguises.)

We’d like to give a shout out to Mike and Doug of Awkward Family Photos. Highlights from their hugely popular website warmed up the crowd. We are now enlightened and will visit often.

The holidays are upon us, and that means presents! Engineer consultant Frank Weigand brought these Fly Ball drones to our monthly meeting—some of us are better operating them than others! And EVD brought specially made aviation chocolates by our good friends at Bon Bons Chocolatier in Huntington, Long Island (yes—this is a plug for Bon Bons).  Good times!

This month the California Science Center exhibits team performed a lighting test inside Endeavour’s flight deck to understand how the orbiter can be internally lit in the permanent exhibit. Manager of Exhibit Services David Gansen experimented with the placement of lighting strips so that the interior is visible with a diffuse glow–no glaring hot spots. He also enjoyed the distinguished view from the commander’s seat! Lucky guy.