HomeSpace FlightHow California museum is protecting space shuttle Endeavour against earthquakes

How California museum is protecting space shuttle Endeavour against earthquakes

Even before it opened more than a decade ago, the exhibit of NASA’s retired space shuttle Endeavour in Los Angeles has elicited one question perhaps more than any other: Can it survive an earthquake?

And to think, that was while the winged orbiter was displayed near the ground in its horizontal, landing configuration.

Now, as the California Science Center takes the first steps to stack the vehicle with a pair of twin solid rocket boosters and an external fuel tank for a vertical, launchpad-like permanent exhibit inside the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, the question has only increased in magnitude.

“Suffice it to say that the building and Endeavour will be standing when L.A. is a pile of rubble,” Dennis Jenkins, director of the science center’s project to display Endeavour and a former NASA space shuttle engineer, said in an interview with

A lot of research and technology stands behind Jenkins’ answer, providing the confidence for he and his team to go forward with stacking the towering display.

Related: Where are NASA’s space shuttles now?

Artist rendering of the space shuttle Endeavour inside the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. (Image credit: California Science Center)


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