The California Science Center welcomes the Space Shuttle Endeavour

The Space Shuttle Endeavour, which flew on its last mission in April, now officially belongs to the California Science Center. The crewmembers of the Endeavour, including Commander Mark Kelly, were feted at the museum earlier this week as the space agency turned over Endeavour’s title to the museum.

The Science Center vied with museums across the country to house one of four orbiter vehicles being decommissioned by NASA, and its selection as a home for Endeavour is an ongoing source of pride for Los Angeles, Southern California and the entire state.

Hundreds of children from the magnet school attended the event, shaking hands with the astronauts and vowing that they too would one day reach space.

There is no arrival date yet set for Endeavour, but eventually the shuttle will arrive in Los Angeles mounted atop a modified Boeing 747. It will travel through the streets of Inglewood and Los Angeles, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has said an enormous parade will accompany the orbiter. Ultimately Endeavour, named for Captain Cook’s storied sailing vessel, will join other artifacts at the Science Center devoted to air and space exploration.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who also spoke to the audience at the title event added: “Not only will the Shuttle offer outstanding educational opportunities for the entire community, it will inspire generations of children to reach for the stars.”