Another month brings another milestone for the Space Shuttle Endeavor's permanent home in Exposition Park.

Crane picks up solid rocket motor in Exposition ParkGary Leonard

One month after they arrived via Figueroa Streets, construction crews placed a pair of 116-foot-long solid rocket motors - each weighing more than 50 tons - into vertical position at the California Science Center. This represents the latest step in "Go for Stack," the six-month, multi-phase process of assembling the space shuttle for public viewing in its future home: the $400 million Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.

“With the installation of the Solid Rocket Motors, we are getting a glimpse of how awe-inspiring the final display of Space Shuttle Endeavour will be for visitors and the powerful way it will continue to inspire future generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers,” said California Science Center president and chief executive officer Jeffrey Rudolph in a news release. “We are grateful for the incredible team of experts assembled here from around the country who have made this installation, and each stage of Go for Stack, possible.” 

The solid rocket motors, donated by Northrop Grumman, had previously been in storage at the Mojave Air and Space Port. They will be coupled with two aft skirts which have already been installed at the lower level of the complex, and will eventually be joined with the space shuttle itself.

View of solid rocket motors from lower level of future Samuel Oschin Air and Space CenterGary Leonard

The new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, designed by ZGF, will be an approximately 20-story structure containing three multi-level galleries named Air, Space, and Shuttle. The approximately 200,000-square-foot addition will roughly double the size of the California Science Center.

Endeavor remains on display in its temporary home until December 31, 2023. After that point, the shuttle will not be made available for the viewing public until completion of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. An exact opening date for the new building has not been announced.

To date, the California Science Center has raised $350 million of the $400 million goal of its EndeavorLA campaign.

Aerial view of solid rocket motors at future Samuel Oschin Air and Space CenterGary Leonard

The California's Space Center's expansion is the latest notable addition to Exposition Park, following the $1-billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, LAFC's $300-million stadium on Figueroa Street, and the expansion of the Museum of Natural History.

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