last weekend, we made an impromptu trip to the California Science Center to check out the Endeavor Space Shuttle. we haven't ever been to the California Science Center before and have been trying to get over there to see the space shuttle ever since it arrived here from Florida. it ended up being such a nice family outing, the California Science Center is a really neat place. did you know admission is FREE?! the center is an awesome resource for us California residents, it has lots of unique hands-on and informative science exhibits. (parking is $10)
if you want to visit the Space Shuttle Endeavor, you must make an appointment and schedule your time of visit. it costs $2 per person, unless you are purchasing a ticket to one of the Special Exhibitions, then it is included in the cost of that ticket. by limiting the exhibit to those who make appointments, it keeps the space from getting too crowded and makes the exhibit more enjoyable. the Endeavor exhibit includes hands-on and informative kiosks, and also entrance into the Samual Oschin Pavilion where you can see the shuttle.
walking into the Samuel Oschin Pavilion for the first time and seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavor was an amazing experience. it is much bigger than i imagined.
make sure to give yourself enough time to check out all the information centers around the Endeavor exhibit. you can learn informative facts about the different parts and areas of the Space Shuttle. if you don't take the time to read them you will be missing out on some really cool information.
being able to see the Space Shuttle close up is very different than seeing it on television or in pictures. the outside is made up of unique materials all with special functions.just look at the size of those rocket boosters.
here is one next to my little guy just to give you some perspective of their enormity. the Space Shuttle Endeavor has been through some really amazing missions. can you believe that is has been in space 25 times! surrounding the space shuttle, a timeline board with the history of space exploration lines the wall. pretty cool...all the accomplishments made in space exploration.
in addition to viewing the Space Shuttle, there is an exhibition hall that has exhibits showing different space stuff. here we are checking out the microwave that was in the space shuttle, how the astronauts stored their belongings and also some of the items the astronauts brought with them into space.
of course my boys were fascinated by the space shuttle toilet. have you ever wondered how astronauts use the bathroom? it definitely is much harder than it is here on Earth where we have gravity. it makes me so thankful for gravity.
there is also a replica of the Mission Control Center where the crew here on Earth communicated with the astronauts and the Space Shuttle.
and check out this SpaceHub, tent-like rooms that attach to the space ship to give the astronauts more room to use and enjoy while they are working in space at the space station.
for $5 you can take a ride in a Space Shuttle simulator and see how it looks to fly in space.and make sure and take the time to watch the short movie on how they transported the Space Shuttle from LAX to the California Science Center. the footage is really neat to watch. what a task it was to get it there.
being able to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor in person made the space program seem much more awesome. unfortunately, it is no longer funded by the government. you get a sense of pride knowing the accomplishments that were made in the exploration of space by the United States and also how awesome it is to go beyond Earth's atmosphere and look back on Earth.
i highly recommend taking a trip to the California Science Center and checking out the Endeavor Exhibit. the rest of the California Science Center is really cool too. you could spend an entire day at the center, there is that much to do. visit the California Science Center's website to find out more information.