Space Shuttle Endeavour Gets Booster Companions for California Science Center

Northrop Grumman Corporation and NASA have donated a set of solid rocket boosters to the California Science Center in Los Angeles to be displayed with the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

“The contributions made by the Space Shuttle Program to space science and exploration have been powerful,” said Charlie Precourt, vice president of propulsion systems for Northrop Grumman. “We are excited to share a piece of our more than 30 year legacy with future generations to help inspire a new era of explorers.”

The boosters were used during the Shuttle Program. The California Science Center intends to display a full stack of an orbiter, genuine solid rocket boosters, and external tank in the launch position. The Space Shuttle Endeavour will be the centerpiece in the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, the Phase III expansion project of the Science Center.

Booster that accompanies Space Shuttle - Courtesy NASA
Booster that accompanies Space Shuttle – Courtesy NASA

The booster cases that Northrop Grumman is donating to the California Science Center have flown on a combined 81 space shuttle flights and have been part of 32 ground tests, Grumman says.

Following an intense bidding session, the orbiters were awarded to various museums and exhibition venues in the United States, most notably with Atlantis taking its place at Kennedy Space Center. Under the terms of the agreement with NASA, bidding museums and exhibition venues agreed to display the orbiters in the agreed-upon manner, up off the floor.

The California Science Center was awarded Endeavour in April 2012, one year after the retirement of NASA’s shuttle fleet. Space shuttle Endeavour opened on public display Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.

The Science Center had planned to use a pair of solid rocket boosters that had been displayed at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida from 1994 to 2011.