Thursday, December 6, 2012

Enormous, Enthralling Endeavour!


Space Shuttle Endeavour is one of the retired orbiters of the Space Shuttle program of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration),
 the space agency of the United States. 

Alex at the Space Shuttle Endeavour temporary display.
Before it was even available for public viewing, 
 our classmate Alex was able to visit Endeavour in its
temporary new home!

Last month, I visited the California Science Center and was astonished by the sight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. While the permanent display is being built, it is in its temporary display.  

My dad’s company is designing and building the permanent building for the Space Shuttle Endeavor, so that’s why we were invited to see Endeavour the day before it opened to the public.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Close up picture of Endeavour.

When I saw it, Endeavour was on its wheels, like when it lands.  In 2 to 3 years, once the permanent display is built, Endeavour will be in launch position.  It will have the rocket boosters and external fuel tank attached.

A picture of the planned permanent display for Endeavour.  It will be displayed in launch position with its 2 solid rocket boosters and external fuel tank.

Before I went in to see the Space Shuttle, there was a display room.  It has real Space Shuttle tires, a Mission Control display, a simulator, which I got to ride in and a video that shows how Endeavour was driven from LAX Airport to the Science Center.  I took pictures of all these areas of the display.  

Endeavour’s used tires.  A lot of rubber gets burned off when it lands!

A picture of Endeavour from when it was transported through the streets of Los Angeles – from LAX to the CA Science Center.

A replica of Mission Control.

Two more views of Mission Control.
After I visited the display area, I went downstairs into the temporary building where Endeavour is located.  It was so interesting and amazing!  We took lots of pictures, and my mom even bought me an Endeavour shirt!

Here are more of the photos we took:
Endeavour’s 3 engines....

and an engine display.

The heat resistant tiles that save Endeavour from burning up during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

Here is a video of the Space Shuttle taken by my mom
  for you to enjoy!

(Photos and video taken by Alex's mom!)

After I got home, I  looked up some facts about Endeavour on!   

Did you know:

1) Endeavour was the last space shuttle built.  It replaced the Space Shuttle Challenger.  It flew 25 missions.

2) Endeavour’s name was selected from a competition held among elementary and middle school students. It was named after Captain James Cook’s ship the H.M.S. Endeavour.

3) Endeavour was built using many spare parts from two old shuttles, Discovery and Atlantis, but it still cost $1.7 billion!

4) Endeavour helped fix the Hubble space telescope. It was taking blurry pictures, so the Endeavour crew flew to it and used 5 spacewalks to fix it.

5) Endeavour helped create the International Space Station. It flew the Unity node to the ISS and then installed it.  On a later flight, it took the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the ISS.  The AMS still needs to be installed.

6) Endeavour was the first Space Shuttle to have an African American astronaut, a Japanese astronaut and a married couple as astronauts.

What do you think of Alex's awesome post?
Have you visited the Space Shuttle yet?

If so, what did you enjoy most?

 Do you plan to go see the Endeavour at the 
California Science Center?

Do you have any other facts to share?






A picture of the permanent display for Endeavour.  It will be displayed in launch position with its 2 solid rocket boosters and external fuel tank.


  1. Hello, Alex.

    Alex, what a remarkable experience to be able to see a shuttle up close. I know how excited I was as a teenager when I had the chance to see two astronauts who had walked on the moon. Space exploration is exciting because of what it can open up in the future.

    I think you have a remarkable collection of photos of your visit and I like your information at the end.

    "Endeavour" has a place in Australian history, but not as a space shuttle but as Cook's ship. It was on James Cook's first voyage to the Pacific in 1769 to 1770 he first came to New Zealand and the east coast of Australia, the first known European to do so.

    I have stood on the "Endeavour" but not the shuttle, instead a replica of Cook's Endeavour. If you would like to read and see a little about the replica of Cook's Endeavour, I wrote this post earlier this year and included video clips when the ship visited a local port...

    Thanks for sharing a very interesting post. :)

    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

    1. Dear Mr. Mannell,

      Thank you for commenting on our blog. It is interesting that you got to see a replica of Captain Cook's ship.

      The Endeavour was named by children and it was made by the Atlantis and another space shuttle.

      (:Alex and Rain:)

  2. Dear Alex,

    At the exhibit did you go on the virtual reality? I went on it,and in my opinion it is one of the most fun rides I have ever been on! That is my favorite part. I liked it because it is very interesting to see how you take off in the shuttle. I plan on visiting the exhibit again over the holiday break. Also at the Mission Control, did you see the Titanic mug because you love Titanic.

    Your NASA loving friend,

  3. Dear Alex,

    I think it is thrilling that you got to see the Endeavour before it was open to public.

    I hope to go see the exhibit soon. Maybe during our winter break my family and I will go check it out.

    Do you maybe know...

    How many feet long is the Endeavour?
    How many people flew on the Endeavour?
    How many times has it been to space?

    ♔ Lia

  4. Dear Alex,

    I have never been to see the Endeavour.:( If I could see the Endeavour, I would take pictures the whole time I would be there!

    I think your pictures are spectacular!

    Do you think your pictures are spectacular?



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