Exposition Park – Space Shuttle Endeavour, California Science Centre, and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Across the road from the University of South California Exposition Park is a huge green space, home to the children infested Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and California Science Centre, both best first thing when the noise levels are slightly lower.

The California Science Centre is free, but costs $3 to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour (not advertised, they’re keener on selling IMAX and exhibition tickets). Endeavour was moved here on the back of a 747 (which I randomly saw flying over San Francisco in 2012), then slowly across the city to reach it’s temporary home before a full flight centre is built.

There are thousands of ceramic tiles that coat the underside of the shuttle as a heat shield for reentry.

The engines were impressively chunky.

By boat and land from Florida (via the Panama Canal) they also transported the distinctive orange booster tank, quite a surreal object.

There are also a number of space capsules from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions. All looked like low tech metal cans, quite incredible what was achieved in the day.

The only other thing that really caught my eye in the Museum were these wonderfully lit jelly fish.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County next door is one of the largest in the world, and home to plenty of dinosaur bones.

The displays of animals in their habits are just like those in New York’s American Museum of Natural History.

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