Next Mission for Shuttle: Retirement at California Science Center

The shuttle will be prepared as a museum piece after its final mission

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 8:32 AM PDT
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Space Shuttle Endeavour

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Space Shuttle Endeavour Coming Home

The space shuttle Endeavour is returning home. Permanently. The shuttle, built in Southern California, has one more scheduled flight later this month. Then it will go on display at the California Science Center near downtown Los Angeles.
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Space shuttle Endeavour made its final launch Monday before its return to California.

The shuttle blasted off just before 6 a.m. PT, Monday.

Science Center: About Endeavour | Live Video: Launch Control

This will be Endeavour's final mission before it comes to Southern California. The shuttle will spend its retirement years at the California Science Center. It's expected to arrive in a new area at the existing Science Center building next year.

The Science Center is preparing online with an #Endeavour Twitter feed.

About a dozen facilities were in the running to land one of the retired shuttles. The shuttle winners were announced April 12.

As for Monday's launch, Endeavour will be commanded Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

It's the shuttle's 25th flight. The six-person crew will remain in space for about 14 days as they bring spare parts to the space station.

After Endeavour lands, it will be prepared as a museum piece. Its flight on the back of a Boeing 747 to Southern California will mark a homecoming -- Endeavour was built at Rockwell International Space Systems facility in Palmdale.

Atlantis will make the final shuttle flight to the space station this summer.

Shuttle Atlantis will stay in Florida. Discovery will be at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.

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