Saturday, September 14, 2013

Up close and semi personal with a space shuttle

A must see in LA: California Science Centre. Main attraction = Endeavour. Need I say more? But if that isn't enough you'll also see a myriad of other stuff to keep everyone entertained for hours!

When we first drove into the carpark the one thing that caught our attention was the Blackbird, a strategic reconnaissance aircraft. Kien has a picture of a Blackbird in one of his aircraft books, so he was pretty happy to see one in real life.

Also out front is this cool leverage system to lift a truck.

We finally got our tickets and went inside.

We walked through a maze of exhibits, including this one:

Now, I know Carl Sagan said we're made of star stuff, but when you're touching something that's recently been in space it just feels damn special.

And now here is a gazillion photos of Endeavour.

I hadn't anticipated on how beat up the space shuttle would look in real life, or how small each individual heat tile on the underside of the fuselage actually are, and when you are seeing maybe 20,000 of them with identification numbers it truly is an impressive sight to behold.

Then there are the Solid Rocket Boosters. What's amazing is that SRB weighs approximately 590,000 kg (1,300,000 lb) at launch, EACH.

Seeing all of this reminds me of how brilliant some human beings are!

The only disappointing thing for Kien is that the space shuttle did not launch. He kept asking us, "Is the space shuttle going to take off? When is the space shuttle taking off?". I had to distract him from bursting into tears when telling him it wasn't going to take off.

There were many (many!) other exhibits, but Matthew was starving and it wasn't going down too well. So we left the building via the aquarium.

We sat outside and had something to eat, and then the kids ran around the rose garden for a bit.

We had intended to come back again before we left LA, but time wasn't our friend. Ah well, something to look forward to the next time we are in town.


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