Countdown to "Wow:" Endeavour on Display at California Science Center - NBC Southern California

space shuttle Endeavour is now at the California Science Center

Countdown to "Wow:" Endeavour on Display at California Science Center

After seeing the shuttle in the air and on LA streets, Endeavour fans can finally get a close-up look at NASA history



    Gov. Jerry Brown and Bill Nye the Science Guy joined hundreds of schoolchildren and astronauts Tuesday for the opening of the Endeavour exhibit. Antonio Castelan reports for the NBC4 News at noon on Oct. 30, 2012. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012)

    Space shuttle Endeavour's "wow" factor has been on display in the sky and on Los Angeles streets. On Tuesday, visitors can get a close-up look at the orbiter when its temporary exhibit opens at the California Science Center.

    An opening ceremony at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion was part of the opening ceremony Tuesday morning. Astronauts and hundreds of schoolchildren joined Gov. Jerry Brown and Science Center representatives as Endeavour begins its retirement years.

    Visitors were asked to reserve a time to see the shuttle.

    "It's been really exciting," said California Science Center CEO Jeffrey Rudolph. "Now people can get up close. Endeavour makes everyone go, "Wow." But there are a lot of other great things to see."

    Before getting a look at Endeavour, visitors will tour an exhibit that tells the story of California's aerospace industry and the shuttle program -- "Endeavour: The California Story." The exhibit features Endeavour's toilet, kitchen and set of tires.

    Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," welcomed visitors Monday morning.

    "How about the Endeavour? Isn't she beautiful?" Nye said.

    Endeavour was built at Rockwell International in Palmdale to replace Challenger, which was destroyed in January 1986. It spent a total of 296 days in space, orbiting Earth 4,671 times during 25  missions.

    Inside the 18,000-square-foot Samuel Oschin Pavilion, the shuttle will be displayed horizontally. The pavilion is a temporary home for Endeavour until it moves a new wing of the center named the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, where it will be displayed in launch position beginning in 2017.

    The addition was named in honor of a gift from  businessman and philanthropist Samuel Oschin, who died in 2003. His widow will be at Tuesday's grand opening.

    "He would be overwhelmed," said Linda Oschin. "It's everything he loved. His dreams, his passion."