California Science Center  1            9-2013

My wife and I took a trip to the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, CA. in the last week of August. These two places are within walking distance of each other which makes it nice. The Ca. Science Center use to be called the Science and Industry Museum back in the 60's and 70's, which was the last time I was their so I was way overdue for a visit.

The one thing that I really wanted to see was the Space Shuttle Endeavour that the Science Center recently added less than a year ago. And anything science or space related because both are very interesting to me. Another thing the Science Center has is an IMAX theater with three different movies to choose from. We checked out the one called 'Hubble 3D' which is about the Hubble telescope and how the space shuttle played a pivotal roll in helping fix it. I highly recommend this movie because it was great.

The Science Center has lots of interactive and hands on stuff for kids and there are all kinds of things to see and do for the whole family at both places. The cost to park is 10 dollars but the Science Center is free to enter. There are two places to eat inside (Mc Donald's and a cafe) along with a big gift store that has all kinds of science related items for all ages. I took a bunch of pictures that day (what a surprise) and here are some of my favorites for you to check out. Also some of the pictures are clickable to get a larger image but I'll let you know about those along the way.




Almost everyone that visits the Science Center will pass under this structure which has colored glass at the top. As the sunlight moves across the sky, you get different colors at any given time.



Here you can see what it looks like in the morning hours of the day. The IMAX theater is to the left and the Science Center is to the right. The first thing we did was check out the space shuttle display which costs two dollars each but if you buy tickets to the IMAX theater you get a combo deal which makes the shuttle visit free, which is what we did.



Upon entering the Space Shuttle display, one of the first things you see is this huge picture of the shuttle Endeavour going thru downtown Los Angeles. Moving space shuttle Endeavour across the United States was a huge undertaking. Endeavour first flew on the back of a Boeing 747 from Cape Canaveral, Florida to Edwards Air Force Base in California, while making several stops along the way. After landing at Los Angeles International Airport, some big hurdles had to be overcome to get the shuttle through Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center. Navigating the streets of Los Angeles and Inglewood required the guidance and skill of over 100 people. Police controlled traffic, engineers and technicians lifted power lines and took down traffic lights and some 400 trees along the way while approximately 1.5 million people lined the sidewalks to celebrate the event. Photographers and filmmakers were on hand to document this once-in-forever moment in history.



These are the actual tires that were on the shuttle and you're aloud to touch them. Note the wear on most of them.






Even the people that go into space recycle!



When you gotta go, ya gotta go! Something you may not think about is how do they go to the bathroom in space? Turns out that in microgravity waste doesn't plop right into the toilet like it does on Earth. Poop curls, sticks and doesn't fall off (I'm glad I didn't have to find that out). Urine clings to any surface it touches and forget about water for flushing because water won't stay in the toilet.

This unit is called a Waste Collecting System (WCS) and has a high tech way of separating waste from the astronaut. For both peeing and pooping, airflow is used to help pull waste from the body and whisk it to the right bag or compartment for storage. In other words it all comes down to suction here. Now if your a guy reading this... I bet I know what you were just thinking  :-]




This is a mockup of the Mission Control center in Huston, Texas. You can't touch anything but it looks pretty cool.



Here's the space shuttle which was awesome! The shuttle is 78 feet wide, 57 feet high and 122 feet long (longer than three school buses) and is much larger that I expected once I walked through the doors. I couldn't stand far enough away to see the whole thing but I'll walk around and show you all of it.

My first impression after walking around it was how dusty and dirty it was. But that makes sense because this is exactly how it would look after a mission in space. The size of the cargo bay and the amount of science and engineering that went into this is amazing.

The first flight for Endeavour was in May of 1992 and it's mission was to capture a satellite that was stranded in an unstable orbit since it's deployment in March 1990. It took the crew of seven astronauts more than one try but was successful after a couple of tries. Endeavour flew 24 flights during its lifetime and has flown over 115 million miles total. To give you an idea of how far that is, our sun is 93 million miles from Earth and Endeavour was the last Space Shuttle to be built.


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