L.A. Museum Adds the Last Payload to Shuttle Endeavour

The payload bay doors of the space shuttle Endeavour, housed at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, stand open on Friday after the installation of a Spacelab logistics module. A day earlier, a crew delicately positioned the 3,000-pound (1,360-kilogram) portable lab and pod inside the orbiter's huge cargo bay. Workers also installed a replica robotic arm, air lock and docking system. Richard Vogel / AP

A large piece of space equipment was installed in a space shuttle's cargo bay on Thursday for what was very likely the last time in history.

During an event titled "Go for Payload," the California Science Center in Los Angeles hoisted a Spacehab module into the open hold of the retired space shuttle Endeavour. The logistics module's addition, together with several other real and replica parts, marked a major milestone towards the center's plans to display the NASA winged orbiter in a vertical, launch-ready configuration.

Rare tour through Shuttle Endeavour 1:28

Since October 2012, the CSC has displayed Endeavour in a temporary pavilion erected for the orbiter. Beginning in late 2017, the center plans to attach Endeavour to a set of real solid-rocket boosters and a replica external tank, and then raise the entire stack to stand inside its new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. In that display, Endeavour will have one of its 60-foot-long (18-meter) payload doors open, showcasing the Spacehab inside.

— Robert Z. Pearlman,

This is a condensed version of a report from Read the full report and see more photos from the installation of the Spacehab. Follow on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2014 All rights reserved.