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LA museum to get retired space shuttle Endeavour

April 12, 2011 12:03:40 AM PDT
Los Angeles' California Science Center will be home to the retiring space shuttle Endeavour when the shuttle program ends, NASA announced on Tuesday.

The space shuttle was born in Southern California, and this is where it will retire. The space shuttle Endeavour will make one last flight and then it will be on permanent display at the California Science Center.

It was 30 years ago Tuesday that the space shuttle era began. On April 12, 1981, space shuttle Columbia started it all.

Now, three decades later, the program is about to come to an end, and NASA says one of the last remaining shuttles will end up in Southern California.

The orbiter and main engines were designed in California, so in a way it's a homecoming.

The California Science Center already houses an Apollo capsule and other milestones from space history. There will be an entire new wing built just east of the main museum to house the shuttle.

The shuttle has to be brought in in one piece. With its wingspan of 78 feet, it will be a very complicated moving job through the streets of Los Angeles.

The Endeavour is scheduled to blast off on April 29 for its last mission. Then it will be in L.A. for all to enjoy.

The California Science Center opened in February 1998 and is located in Exposition Park near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The admission-free Science Center includes the Sketch Foundation Air and Space Gallery, which combines items owned by the Science Center and loans from the Smithsonian Institution.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.