California Science Center Names New Wing for Space Shuttle Endeavour

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (at left) joined others on May 17, 2012 at the California Science Center to name the new and future home of NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour for the late Samuel Oschin, an entrepreneur, explorer and philanthropist.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (at left) joined others on May 17, 2012 at the California Science Center to name the new and future home of NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour for the late Samuel Oschin, an entrepreneur, explorer and philanthropist. (Image credit: The City of Los Angeles via Facebook)

When NASA's space shuttle Endeavour lands at the California Science Center in Los Angeles this fall, it will be displayed in a temporary exhibit, and later a new museum facility named for an entrepreneur, explorer and philanthropist.

The California Science Center (CSC) announced last week that it was naming its space shuttle display pavilion and planned Air and Space Center after the late Samuel Oschin. The exhibit's dedication was made in appreciation for a "transformational gift" from the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation, which was founded in 1981 to support a variety of causes related to astronomy, the arts, medicine, advocacy, and education.

"We're tremendously grateful to receive this extraordinary gift," Jeffrey Rudolph, president of the California Science Center, said in a statement. "Combined with the generous support already provided by foundations, individuals, and corporations throughout our community, we are now close to the halfway point in achieving our $200 million [Team Endeavour] campaign goal."

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signs the title transfer for space shuttle Endeavour during a ceremony at the California Science Museum on Oct. 11, 2011. Endeavour will be permanently displayed at the science center for the public to see after delivery in 2012. (Image credit:

Launch pad for creativity

With Endeavour standing vertically as its centerpiece, the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will invite guests to investigate scientific and engineering principles related to atmospheric flight and the exploration of the universe. [Gallery: Shuttle Endeavour Construction Photos]

"Integrating hands-on exhibits to encourage active learning and a unique collection of aircraft and spacecraft, this new facility will be a launch pad for creativity and innovation," Rudolph said. "It'll inspire the next generation of explorers and scientists and strengthen the science center's ability to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning."

While the air and space center is developed over the next five years, the youngest of NASA's winged orbiters will be exhibited in the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, which will open this fall. A NASA Boeing 747 jumbo jetliner is scheduled to ferry Endeavour to Los Angeles in September. Soon after, the shuttle will be transported over land to the science center.

A last look at a fully lit space shuttle. NASA shut down space shuttle Endeavour for the final time on May 11, 2012, but not before giving the chance to photograph the retired spacecraft's powered-on flight deck. (Image credit: Pearlman)

Dedicated dreamer

"Today pays tribute first and foremost to my husband, and his passion for discovery, philanthropy, and the pursuit of knowledge," Lynda Oschin said. "This is Sam's vision and represents truly everything my husband dreamed, loved and believed in."

Samuel Oschin dedicated himself to improving the quality of life in the Los Angeles community. His success in a range of enterprises, from manufacturing to real estate, enabled his adventures to Africa, the North Pole, the Amazon and a 100-mile trek retracing Hannibal's crossing of the Alps.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa came to the CSC to thank the Oschin Family Foundation for their support.

"On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I express heartfelt thanks," Villaraigosa remarked. "Their generous donation ensures that space shuttle Endeavour has a world-class facility in which to reside, a place that will inspire youth to dream of future space exploration, stimulating science and math education for generations, and stimulating tourism to Los Angeles along with it."

Visit for continuing coverage of the delivery and display of NASA's retired space shuttles.

Follow collectSPACE on Facebook and Twitter @collectSPACE and editor Robert Pearlman @robertpearlman. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved.

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Robert Z. Pearlman Editor, Contributor

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.