Endeavour

Space Shuttle Endeavour Feb2018 sm
In early March we went to LA, and saw the Space Shuttle Endeavour. It was quite an experience. I loved the Space Shuttle as a kid. It was so exciting. That massive fuel tank that falls away, the spacewalks, the landing back on Earth, as far as I was concerned, it was something we would all be riding on in The Future. I loved reading about the space program. I remember clearly the Challenger disaster, when I was 10, that shocking image, that double headed explosion. I read every article about that I could find. I put the newspaper on my bedroom wall, along with the photos of all the astronauts. It was a scary moment for me, when the realities of space travel broke my fantasy of becoming an astronaut; except I never really wanted to become an astronaut, I just wanted to go to space, float around a bit, maybe meet some aliens. Now the Space Shuttles are all retired. I did see this one before, from a good distance. When Endeavour was retired, it was flown to LA on the back of a large airplane, and passed over Sacramento – and Davis – on the way to a Bay Area flyover, before heading down to its resting place in Los Angeles. Now it is at the California Science Center in LA’s Exposition Park. Up close, it looks different than I expected. It is not some shiny sci-fi spaceship, it is very functional feeling, made up of a series of tough looking squares, each one numbered, looking almost like it was cobbled together on the job. Endeavour was in fact built as a replacement to Challenger, and between 1992 and 2011 she flew 25 missions into the earth’s orbit. I enjoyed sketching Endeavour, rekindling all my boyhood space travel dreams.

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2 thoughts on “Endeavour

  1. redharparts says:

    Wonderful sketch and text. I’m right with you… I watched every shuttle launch I could!

    I have a story (or stories) about NASA’s selection of sites for the retired shuttles. I volunteer at the Museum of Flight in Seattle and I’m still a little annoyed. However, if you ever come to Seattle, be sure to visit the Museum. We have the FFT… Full Fuselage Trainer. You can go INSIDE! The payload bay is always open. There is an extra cost tour to the crew living quarters and the flight deck. It is exactly like those on the flying shuttles.

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