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Huge rocket motors arrive at Los Angeles museum for space shuttle Endeavour display

Huge rocket motors arrive at Los Angeles museum for space shuttle Endeavour display
One of two rocket motors are slowly turned into the receiving area of the California Science Center upon their arrival in Los Angeles, Wednesday Oct. 11, 2023. The giant rocket motors, required to display the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour as if it’s about to blast off, were trucked over two days from Mojave Air and Space Port to LA’s Exposition Park, where the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is being built to display Endeavour. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Vogel

Two giant rocket motors required to display the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour as if it's about to blast off arrived Wednesday at a Los Angeles museum, completing their long journey from the Mojave Desert.

The 116-foot-long (35.3-meter) motors, which look like giant white cylinders, were trucked over two days from the Mojave Air and Space Port to LA's Exposition Park, where the California Science Center's Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is being built to display Endeavour.

Donated by Northrop Grumman, the motors are the largest components of the two solid rocket boosters that would be attached to a space shuttle's external tank to help the main engines lift the orbiter off the launch pad.

Schoolchildren were among several hundred people who watched the move—the latest spectacle in the yearslong process of preparing to put Endeavour on permanent display vertically as if it was about to blast off.

The massive shuttle was flown to Los Angeles International Airport atop a NASA Boeing 747 in 2012 and then was inched through city streets to the museum. The giant external tank arrived by barge and made a similar trip across Los Angeles.

  • Huge rocket motors arrive at Los Angeles museum for space shuttle Endeavour display
    Students from the Alexander Science Center School cheer as two rocket motors are moved slowly down Figueroa Street in Los Angeles, Wednesday Oct. 11, 2023. The giant rocket motors, required to display the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour as if it’s about to blast off, were trucked over two days from Mojave Air and Space Port to LA’s Exposition Park. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Vogel
  • Huge rocket motors arrive at Los Angeles museum for space shuttle Endeavour display
    Traffic enforcement officers clear the way as trucks haul two rocket motors slowly down Figueroa Street in Los Angeles, Wednesday Oct. 11, 2023. The giant rocket motors, required to display the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour as if it’s about to blast off, were trucked over two days from Mojave Air and Space Port to LA’s Exposition Park. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Vogel
  • Huge rocket motors arrive at Los Angeles museum for space shuttle Endeavour display
    A shadow of a palm tree is cast upon the side of one of two rocket motors carefully being moved along Figueroa Street in Los Angeles, Wednesday Oct. 11, 2023. The giant rocket motors, required to display the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour as if it’s about to blast off, were trucked over two days from Mojave Air and Space Port to LA’s Exposition Park, where the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is being built to display Endeavour. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Vogel
  • Huge rocket motors arrive at Los Angeles museum for space shuttle Endeavour display
    Trucks haul two rocket motors slowly down Figueroa Street in Los Angeles, Wednesday Oct. 11, 2023. The giant rocket motors, required to display the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour as if it’s about to blast off, were trucked over two days from Mojave Air and Space Port to LA’s Exposition Park. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Vogel
  • Huge rocket motors arrive at Los Angeles museum for space shuttle Endeavour display
    Spectators watch as two rocket motors are slowly moved down Figueroa Street in Los Angeles on Wednesday Oct. 11, 2023. The giant rocket motors, required to display the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour as if it’s about to blast off, were trucked over two days from Mojave Air and Space Port to LA’s Exposition Park. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Vogel

The shuttle "stack"—assembly of the boosters, and orbiter—will be completed before construction of the rest of the museum is finished around it.

Endeavour flew 25 missions before NASA's three-decade space shuttle program ended in 2011.

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Citation: Huge rocket motors arrive at Los Angeles museum for space shuttle Endeavour display (2023, October 11) retrieved 23 February 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2023-10-huge-rocket-motors-los-angeles.html
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