Students sit at a desk | Still from SoCal Connected's "Under Pressure"

Endeavour Shuttle in 'Go for Payload' Phase

The California Science Center is in the process of launching a permanent exhibit dedicated to Endeavour, one of NASA's newest orbiters. A few years ago, the space shuttle made a remarkable 12-mile journey from LAX to the center -- it's retirement home.

Endeavour, known as the "jewel of the fleet," was built as a replacement for the space shuttle Challenger, which was destroyed a few minutes after its launch in 1986. It was also part of a space shuttle program consisting of six orbiters that flew into space and were used for test flights in earth's atmosphere.

The name Endeavour originates from an educational program asking school children to come up with a unique name for the new orbiter.

In this segment of "SoCal Connected," reporter Conor Knighton visits the California Science Center for an in-depth look at Endeavour, which flew a total of 25 missions from 1992 to 2011.

The center is currently revealing Endeavour's payload as it's being installed until Oct. 25. The payload and its doors are currently designed to carry passengers in zero gravity. After the payload is installed, the doors will remain closed until the next phase of Mission 26, also known as "Go for Launch."

For more about the exhibit and the California Science Center, Knighton interviews former astronaut Barbara Morgan and curator Kenneth E. Phillips, and tours the center during the "Go for Payload" installment phase.

The exhibit features a unique look at the various items carried to and from space during its many space missions.

Over the last two years, Endeavour has been a huge boost to the center and the city of Los Angeles, attracting 2.5 million visitors, according to California Science Center president Jeffrey N. Rudolph.

Endeavour will be in its final vertical launch position by 2018.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Barbara Morgan, former NASA astronaut
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