LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Grand Opening Ceremony inaugurated the Space Shuttle Endeavour Exhibition this morning with remarks from Governor Jerry Brown, Director David McBride, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, California Science Center President Jeffrey N. Rudolph, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts. Also present to witness the event, which took place in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, was Philanthropist Lynda Oschin, widow of Samuel Oschin and Chair of the Board and Secretary of the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation and astronauts James M. Kelly, R. Shane Kimbrough, Leland D. Melvin (Administrator), Barbara R. Morgan (retired) and Garrett E. Reisman (retired).
Bill Nye the Science Guy served as Master of Ceremonies of the event which included business, community and philanthropic leaders as well as more than 500 Science Center School students. A highlight of the event was a performance of "Men in Black" choreographed by the legendary Debbie Allen and performed by the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and solos sung by Grammy Award-winning James Ingram and America's Got Talent finalist Sebastien De La Cruz.
"We are delighted that the California Science Center will use Endeavour to inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers and we thank you for helping tell the story of NASA's historic past as we begin to write the stories of the future today," said David McBride, Director of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. "The next chapter in space exploration begins now, and we're standing on the shoulders of the men and women of the shuttle program to reach farther into the solar system."
California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph said, "I want to thank the people of California and the Los Angeles region for so enthusiastically welcoming Endeavour home. Today marks the beginning of Endeavour's new mission to inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers."
Mayor Villaraigosa added, "Having Endeavour at the California Science Center will serve to motivate millions of young people to dream about possibilities and will attract people from around the world to our great city. The Endeavour, as a historical treasure, will be a brilliant centerpiece for Los Angeles and will assist in our city's economic revitalization."
Rudolph also reminded participants that their contributions are still welcome for EndeavourLA, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to raise $100 million, to create the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, and support ongoing programs and operations. Members of the public can donate by visiting www.BringEndeavourHome.org. In addition to making a general donation to support EndeavourLA, the public can sponsor a thermal protection system tile and be associated with Endeavour forever. Sponsorship levels begin at $1,000.
The new Samuel Oschin Pavilion is now open to the public. Space Shuttle Endeavour Exhibition viewing times are 10 am, with the last entry at 3:45 pm. Although it is free admission, timed tickets are recommended for a small fee of $3 for non-members and $2 for members who reserve online at www.californiasciencecenter.org.
As part of the Grand Opening activities, a 6-day SpaceFest will take place at the California Science Center. The festival kicks off Tuesday, October 30, 2012 and goes through Sunday, November 4, 2012. The hours Tuesday-Friday will be 10am-3pm, and on the weekend from 10am-5pm. NASA will present over three dozen exhibits, displays, and educational demonstrations honoring aeronautics and space exploration past, present, and future. Visitors to SpaceFest will be able to learn about current NASA research missions, future space travel, and NASA involvement in enhancing aeronautics. This exciting 6-day event will also provide an opportunity for guests to meet and hear current and former astronauts speaking about their experiences.
Location: SpaceFest activities and booths will be in the Annenberg Building. The Annenberg Building will be open to the public during SpaceFest hours. The only booth not in the Annenberg Building will be the NASA Information Booth, which will be located in Science Plaza next to the DNA Bench.
SpaceFest Astronaut Presentations
Astronauts will share stories of their experiences in a series of presentations in the Science Center's Donald P. Loker Conference Center:
- Tuesday, October 30 – Friday, November 2: 10:15am, 11:15am, and 12:15pm (school groups reserve in advance and remaining tickets are distributed at the NASA information booth)
- Saturday, November 3 - 11:00am and 1:00pm (Parking will be limited due to the USC-Oregon game. It is recommended that guests ride the Expo Line to Exposition Park. Science Center visitors can also park at the Staples Center in lots 6 and 7 for $8 [on Nov. 3 only] which is convenient to the Expo Line's Pico Station.)
- Sunday, November 4 - 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm
*Timed tickets available on a first come, first served basis at the NASA Information Booth near the Science Center main Box Office.
About the California Science Center
The California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films. Its mission is as follows:" We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people's lives."
The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive. The Science Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm. Please check the Science Center web site for schedule updates at www.californiasciencecenter.org.
SOURCE California Science Center