Philanthropy Brings Endeavour Home to the California Science Center

October 24, 2012

Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

In April 2011, NASA announced that the California Science Center prevailed in a national competition to receive one of four orbiters with the conclusion of the U.S. Space Shuttle Program. Endeavour was awarded for permanent exhibition to the California Science Center.

This extraordinary announcement accelerated action on Phase III of the Science Center’s Master Plan to create a new air and space center. EndeavourLA was launched to raise $200 million to bring Endeavour to the Science Center, build a major expansion to house our world-class air and space collection and new hands-on exhibits, and sustain ongoing programs and operations. An outpouring of support and enthusiasm from the philanthropic community gave this project momentum.

In Spring 2012, the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation committed a transformational gift to the California Science Center Foundation to establish the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, Endeavour’s future home. Combined with other generous commitments from foundations, corporations and individuals, including The Ahmanson Foundation, Weingart Foundation and Melanie and Richard Lundquist, we are nearly halfway toward achieving our goal.

After 25 launches and nearly 123 million miles traveled, including an historic 12-mile voyage through the cities of Los Angeles and Inglewood, Endeavour arrived at the California Science Center on October 14, 2012. Mission 26: The Big Endeavour was an unprecedented logistical achievement and a celebration of unity, experienced along the route by 1.4 million people and virtually by tens of millions around the world.

Endeavour’s ultimate mission is to inspire current and future generations of explorers and innovators at the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, projected to open in five years. The educational content developed for the new expansion will also expand learning opportunities for our wide-ranging youth programs; enhance curriculum for the Science Center School; and support new workshops for our professional development programs. In the near term, Endeavour will be displayed in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, a temporary facility, as of October 30, 2012.

Philanthropic support will enable us to expand our award-winning science learning experiences and inspire youth to dream about possibilities in science, technology and space exploration.

William T. Harris is the Senior Vice President of Development and Marketing for the California Science Center Foundation. To learn more about the Science Center’s plans for Endeavour, visit EndeavourLA.org.

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