Presented by Centric Parts and its StopTech performance and racing division

September 25, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavor Flies Over Centric on its Final Mission

For those of you outside the Los Angeles area, you might not be aware that the recently mothballed space shuttle program has produced quite a stir locally. You see, the retired spacecraft that made up the program are being moved to permanent homes at various museums around the country, and one of them is finding a final home right here in Southern California. Space Shuttle Endeavour was ferried out to California last week and will take up permanent residence at the California Science Center (CSC) in Exposition Park.

The physical act of bringing a spacecraft that large to a museum in the heart of an urban area is pretty complex, as you might imagine. Early on Saturday (Sept. 22), the shuttle was hoisted by cranes off the modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet that flew it to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) the day before. The shuttle was escorted by a pair of military fighter jets as it passed directly over our Carson facility on Friday.

Most of us were fortunate enough to see Endeavour's fly-by and tens of thousands more enthusiastic Californians were at LAX to witness the touchdown. Millions were said to have witnessed the flyover tour of the state that preceded it, as the shuttle left Edwards Air Force Base and paid tribute to the various California facilities that contributed to the program over the years.

According to, to prepare Endeavour for its upcoming 12-mile parade through the city streets of Inglewood and Los Angeles next month, technicians will remove the aerodynamic tail cone that was added for its ferry flight from Florida, reposition the shuttle's replica main engines from their tucked-for-flight orientation and install nozzles on the orbiter's maneuvering system pods. They'll also enter Endeavour's crew cabin to configure it for the science center's curators and retrieve from inside thousands of embroidered patches that were flown on Endeavour for the ferry flight at the center's request.

On Oct. 12, Endeavour will leave its temporary home in an LAX hangar, and proceed through the streets of Inglewood, past Inglewood City Hall to the California Science Center at Exposition Park. Along the route, Endeavour will be the guest of honor at a moving party that will include a musical dance and aerial performance choreographed by famed actress Debbie Allen.

At the CSC, the shuttle will temporarily be exhibited atop the transporter in the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, a large hangar that was recently built beside the center's main building. Ultimately, the CSC plans to recreate Endeavor's launch pad, and position the craft as though it were ready for another mission, complete with twin boosters and external fuel tank. Be sure to check it out if you are ever in the Los Angeles area.