The California Science Center broke ground Wednesday on its new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, 200,000-square-foot addition that will serve as a new permanent home for the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
The ground breaking ceremony fell during the 11th anniversary of Endeavour's final touchdown back in 2011.
This addition to the Science Center will feature 150 educational exhibits in three multi-level galleries which will double the California Science Center's educational exhibit areas.
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The entire project will take three years to construct. While the new exhibit is under construction Endeavour will remain on display but is set to be removed about a year and a half into the construction process.
Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is being made possible through the generous gift donation made by the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation which was founded in 1981. This is the largest donation that the Science Center has ever received.
The private foundation funds a number of projects around LA in a variety of philanthropic areas such as astronomy, medicine, the arts, and education.
Detroit native Samuel Oschin was an entrepreneur who owned multiple businesses and philanthropist. He died in 2003 and is survived by his wife who helps run their foundation.
Present at the ceremony were a long list of politicians and current and former NASA astronauts.
The list of attendees included: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, United States Senator Alex Padilla, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Chair of the LA County Board of Supervisors Holly Mitchell, LA City Councilmember Curren Price, and Chairperson of the Mr. and Mrs. Oschin Family Foundation Mrs. Lynda Oschin.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. Senator Mark Kelly, who is also a former NASA astronaut and served as Commander on Endeavour’s last mission, joined the ceremony remotely and had recorded messages sharing their thoughts on the special moment.