When NASA's space shuttle Endeavour lands at the California Science Center in Los Angeles this fall, it will be displayed in a temporary exhibit, and later a new museum facility named for an entrepreneur, explorer and philanthropist.
The California Science Center (CSC) announced last week that it was naming its space shuttle display pavilion and planned Air and Space Center after the late Samuel Oschin. The exhibit's dedication was made in appreciation for a "transformational gift" from the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation, which was founded in 1981 to support a variety of causes related to astronomy, the arts, medicine, advocacy and education.
"We're tremendously grateful to receive this extraordinary gift," Jeffrey Rudolph, president of the California Science Center, said in a statement. "Combined with the generous support already provided by foundations, individuals, and corporations throughout our community, we are now close to the halfway point in achieving our $200 million [Team Endeavour] campaign goal."
Launch pad for creativity
With Endeavour standing vertically as its centerpiece, the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will invite guests to investigate scientific and engineering principles related to atmospheric flight and the exploration of the universe. [Gallery: Shuttle Endeavour Construction Photos]
"Integrating hands-on exhibits to encourage active learning and a unique collection of aircraft and spacecraft, this new facility will be a launch pad for creativity and innovation," Rudolph said. "It'll inspire the next generation of explorers and scientists and strengthen the science center's ability to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning."
While the air and space center is developed over the next five years, the youngest of NASA's winged orbiters will be exhibited in the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, which will open this fall. A NASA Boeing 747 jumbo jetliner is scheduled to ferry Endeavour to Los Angeles in September. Soon after, the shuttle will be transported over land to the science center.
"Today pays tribute first and foremost to my husband, and his passion for discovery, philanthropy and the pursuit of knowledge," Lynda Oschin said. "This is Sam's vision and represents truly everything my husband dreamed, loved and believed in."
Samuel Oschin dedicated himself to improving the quality of life in the Los Angeles community. His success in a range of enterprises, from manufacturing to real estate, enabled his adventures to Africa, the North Pole, the Amazon and a 100-mile trek retracing Hannibal's crossing of the Alps.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa came to the CSC to thank the Oschin Family Foundation for their support.
"On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I express heartfelt thanks," Villaraigosa remarked. "Their generous donation ensures that space shuttle Endeavour has a world-class facility in which to reside, a place that will inspire youth to dream of future space exploration, stimulating science and math education for generations, and stimulating tourism to Los Angeles along with it."
Visit shuttles.collectspace.com for continuing coverage of the delivery and display of NASA's retired space shuttles.