LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two flight-worthy solid rocket boosters have been given to the California Science Center for display of the retired space shuttle Endeavour.
The boosters donated by Northrop Grumman Corp. and NASA will allow the shuttle to be displayed in Los Angeles as if it was about to blast off into space.
“The California Science Center’s goal for this exhibit is to preserve and display the only existing full stack of an orbiter, genuine solid rocket boosters, and external tank in the launch position,” Northrop Grumman said in a statement Tuesday.
Shuttle boosters, filled with solid fuel, provided most of the thrust for the first two minutes of flight and then parachuted into the ocean where they were recovered for reuse.
The donated boosters, which are inert, flew on actual space shuttle missions and were used in many ground tests. They will be stored outside Los Angeles for now.
Endeavour, which will be the centerpiece of a planned expansion of the California Science Center, last flew in space in 2011.
The massive orbiter was ferried to Los Angeles International Airport and slowly moved through the city to the center in 2012. An unused external fuel tank built for the shuttle program was barged from Louisiana to California and hauled to the center in 2016.