NASA’s retired space shuttle Endeavour has reached a significant milestone as it was recently lifted onto a space shuttle stack for display at the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center in California. This exciting development marks the first time in over a decade that the stacking process has been carried out, bringing Endeavour one step closer to its highly anticipated public display.
The intricate process involved using two large cranes to carefully lift the orbiter and lower it onto an external tank with twin solid rocket boosters. This challenging task required precise coordination and technical expertise to ensure that the delicate spacecraft was handled safely. The end result will be an awe-inspiring exhibit that showcases Endeavour in its vertical, launch-like configuration.
The project to erect Endeavour in the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center has been a long time in the making. It first began its journey in the 1990s when the science center expressed interest in acquiring the iconic space shuttle. Finally, the dream became a reality when NASA decided to award Endeavour to the science center.
The ambitious undertaking involved numerous steps and challenges. The center had to source the necessary equipment, raise a staggering $400 million for the project, and assemble a team of experts to oversee the entire process. Every detail, from ensuring the safety of Endeavour during the lifting process to the subsequent preparations for public display, required meticulous planning and execution.
To protect Endeavour during the stacking process, it was carefully covered in shrink wrap. This added layer of protection ensured that the shuttle’s delicate components would remain unharmed as it was lifted and positioned on the space shuttle stack. However, the work does not end there. Before the public can marvel at Endeavour’s magnificence, further work needs to be carried out to prepare it for display.
While the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is still undergoing further preparations, it is expected to be ready for public viewing in the next few years. Once completed, this state-of-the-art facility will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to witness the marvels of space exploration up close. Endeavour’s display at the center will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration for generations to come, reminding us of humanity’s boundless ambition and the incredible achievements that can be accomplished through scientific endeavor.