Space Shuttle Endeavour: A look inside the spacecraft ahead of move to permanent vertical display

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Thursday, September 28, 2023
Space Shuttle Endeavour: A look inside before move to vertical display
NASA's retired Space Shuttle Endeavour is set to be put on permanent display in the vertical launch position at Exposition Park. ABC7 toured the inside of the spacecraft before the move.

EXPOSITION PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The retired Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center in Exposition Park is in final preparations before it is moved to a permanent vertical display position.

ABC7 this week received a special tour of the Endeavour, known by locals as the spaceship that strolled down the streets of Los Angeles in 2012 after its final mission for NASA.

"Endeavour flew 25 times, so 25 launches and roughly 23 million miles," said Dr. Ken Phillips, Curator For Aerospace Science at the California Science Center.

It took days to get the orbiter from Los Angeles International Airport to its final home at the Science Center.

And as crews prepare to move it to the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, coming in the next few years, ABC7 got to take a special look inside.

"Since the Endeavour has been on display here, we've only opened up the crew module probably about five times," said Ray Zink, Orbiter Move Director.

Endeavour first launched on May 7, 1992. Seven astronauts lived onboard during that eight-day mission.

A highly technical process began in Los Angeles to put NASA's retired Space Shuttle Endeavour on permanent display in the vertical launch position complete with external tank and two solid rocket boosters.

There are storage compartments everywhere -- somewhere to keep food, clothing and even an athletic exercise band.

There's blue Velcro everywhere -- of course that's because in space, things are floating constantly. For example, when astronauts want to go to sleep they get in their sleeping bags and just Velcro themselves to the wall.

"It did multiple flights to the International Space Station and helped to build. It took astronauts to and from the space station," Phillips said.

And there are 2,500 buttons.

Visitors have until the end of December to see the shuttle in its horizontal position. It could be a few years before you see it again vertically with its rocket boosters.

"We want to put the whole stack together. So people have an idea for just how much effort it takes to put a crew of seven people into orbit around Earth," Phillips said.