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California Science Center Reaches Milestone with Final Stacking of ET-94 for Endeavour

California Science Center Reaches Milestone with Final Stacking of ET-94 for Endeavour

On Saturday, January 13, the California Science Center achieved a significant milestone in its mission to display the space shuttle Endeavour in a ready-to-launch configuration. This accomplishment involved the successful mating of the massive External Tank, ET-94, to the Solid Rocket Boosters, marking a crucial step in the process. The intricate operation took place over a span of approximately 26 hours, commencing on Thursday, January 11, around 8 pm and concluding officially at 11:05 am on Saturday. Work pauses were strategically incorporated for favorable weather conditions and to allow the dedicated crews to rest during the day on Friday.

ET-94, the largest component of the stack, weighs 65,000 lbs., stands at 154 feet top-to-bottom, boasts a diameter of 27.5 feet, and holds the distinction of being the last remaining flight-qualified External Tank. These colossal, orange-colored tanks were responsible for carrying propellants for the Orbiters during launch and were the sole component of the space shuttle system that was not reusable.

The successful installation of ET-94 signifies the penultimate phase in the unprecedented “Go for Stack” process, aimed at creating the world’s only authentic, ready-to-launch space shuttle system display. The final step involves the movement, lifting, and mating of Endeavour itself, scheduled for later this month.

Preparations for Endeavour’s relocation are already underway, with a significant step planned for the second half of January. Endeavour will be moved from its current location in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion to Exposition Park’s South Lawn, situated between the Natural History Museum and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. By the end of January, the 122-foot-long Orbiter is expected to make its final journey across Exposition Park to the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center construction site, where it will be lifted into the partially constructed building by a 450-foot crane. This monumental process, never before achieved outside a NASA or Air Force facility, presents a considerable technical challenge.

Once fully installed, the space shuttle stack will tower at 200 feet, comprising the Orbiter Endeavour, two Solid Rocket Boosters, and ET-94. Construction of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, which commenced in 2022, will continue around the 20-story display.

Jeffrey Rudolph, the President and CEO of the California Science Center, expressed gratitude to the remarkable team whose dedication has turned each stage of this complex operation into a reality. He highlighted the importance of the fully-assembled space shuttle system, which will become the star attraction of the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. The center’s ultimate mission is to inspire future generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers.

The extensive six-month “Go for Stack” process, initiated in July 2023, involved installing the base of the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) known as the Aft Skirts, followed by the installation of the two Solid Rocket Motors in November and the Forward Assemblies in early December. Following the relocation and lifting of ET-94, the final step involves the intricate mating of the Orbiter with the rest of the space shuttle stack.

The forthcoming Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, covering an expansive 200,000 square feet, signifies a substantial expansion for the Science Center, effectively doubling its educational exhibition space. This state-of-the-art facility will showcase an impressive array of 100 genuine artifacts seamlessly integrated with 100 innovative hands-on exhibits. Visitors of all ages will be encouraged to delve into the scientific and engineering principles associated with atmospheric flight and the exploration of the universe. The center is organized into three major galleries—the Korean Air Aviation Gallery, the Samuel Oschin Shuttle Gallery, and the Kent Kresa Space Gallery—forming an integral part of the California Science Center’s meticulously planned three-decade initiative to establish itself as a premier global science learning center. The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center aspires to provide a distinctive educational experience for the Los Angeles community and international guests. Currently in the construction phase, the installation of artifacts and exhibits is scheduled to follow suit.

The post ET-94 milestone: California science center’s final go for stack with Endeavour appeared first on Travel And Tour World.

By : Sunjet Date : January 15, 2024 Category : News Comments :

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