Photo credit: California Science Center/Leroy Hamilton
NASA’s STS-134 Endeavour crew celebrates Space Shuttle title transfer at the California Science Center
A crowd of more than 700 people witnessed the Space Shuttle Endeavour title transfer from NASA to the California Science Center Foundation on October 11, 2011 with former NASA astronaut and STS-134 Commander Mark Kelly, the STS-134 crew, NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Richard Keegan and California Science Center President Jeffrey N. Rudolph. Among the dignitaries who witnessed the title transfer to the California Science Center Foundation were California State Consumer Services Agency Secretary Anna Caballero, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, State Senator Curren Price, State Assemblyman Steve Bradford, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, and Senior Advisor to the California Science Center Foundation for EndeavourLA Steve Soboroff.
Commander Mark Kelly and the astronauts - Michael Fincke, Gregory Johnson and Andrew Feustel entered the room after an enthusiastic crowd countdown and were greeted with at 21-stomp rocket salute by Science Center School students. The astronauts showed a video of their experiences with the Endeavour, as the STS-134 crew which flew Endeavour’s final space mission. Another highlight of the event was the display of four flown tires – from Atlantis, Discovery and Columbia.
NASA enthusiast and actress June Lockhart from “Lost in Space,” was present and noted, "Isn't it wonderful to have a mode of transportation that when the pink slip is turned over, it does not lose value when you take it off the lot?”
California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph said, “Today marks the beginning of Endeavour’s new mission to stimulate interest in science and engineering in future generations.” Rudolph also announced the launch of EndeavourLA, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to raise $200 million, which will help bring Endeavour to Los Angeles, create a new Air and Space Center, and support ongoing programs and operations. Members of the public can donate by visiting www.BringEndeavourHome.org. In addition to making a general donation to support EndeavourLA, the public can sponsor a thermal protection system tile and be associated with Endeavour in perpetuity. Sponsorship levels begin at $1,000.
On April 12, 2011, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced that the Science Center was one of four institutions in the nation to receive a Space Shuttle. The Science Center was awarded the Endeavour, a flown shuttle. Endeavour is currently at the Kennedy Space Center undergoing removal of hazardous items and preparations for its eventual public display. NASA’s work should be complete in the latter half of 2012, after which Endeavour will arrive at LAX by ferry-flight aboard a 747 NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. From there it will travel through the streets of Los Angeles to its destination at the California Science Center in Exposition Park. It will be temporarily displayed in temporary structure before moving to its permanent building facility in five years.
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NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Richard Keegan signs the document officially transferring title of the Endeavour to the California Science Center. Behind him left to right are Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Inglewood Mayor James Butts, Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph, Senior Advisor to the California Science Center Endeavour Project Steve Soboroff, and California State Consumer Services Agency Secretary Anna Caballero.