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California Science Center breaks ground on Samuel Oschin building


The California Science Center has broken ground on the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, a 200,000-square-foot addition to the Science Center that will contain 150 educational exhibits spanning three multi-level galleries and become the permanent home of Space Shuttle Endeavour, one of only three remaining flown space shuttle orbiters and the only one located on the west coast.

“The California Science Center is thrilled to celebrate this milestone today,” remarked California Science Center President and CEO, Jeffrey Rudolph. “The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will be a launchpad for creativity and innovation to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.”

The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will nearly double the California Science Center’s educational exhibit areas with an impressive artifact collection, integrated with hands-on exhibits to encourage guests of all ages to investigate scientific and engineering principles of atmospheric flight and the exploration of the universe.

Mayor Eric Garcetti; United States Senator Alex Padilla; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Congresswoman Karen Bass; Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Holly Mitchell; City Councilmember Curren Price; Chairperson of the Mr. and Mrs. Oschin Family Foundation, Mrs. Lynda Oschin; as well as other community leaders, former NASA astronauts, donors, and students from the Science Center School participated in the groundbreaking celebration.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and United States Senator Mark Kelly, who is also a former NASA astronaut and served as commander on Endeavour’s last mission, joined the celebration remotely with recorded messages. The event coincided with the 11th anniversary of Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final touchdown.

Endeavour will be presented in an awe-inspiring ‘ready-to-launch’ vertical configuration, complete with solid rocket boosters and an external tank, in what will be the world’s only display of an authentic space shuttle system.

Towering 20-stories high, the Air and Space Center will house an impressive collection of aircraft and spacecraft, carefully selected to present a dynamic and fun learning experience while illustrating key concepts for each of its three multi-level galleries—Air, Space and Shuttle—that span four floors and 100,000-square-feet of exhibit space.

Reaching this groundbreaking milestone is possible due to an generous gift from the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation, the largest the California Science Center has ever received. The support provided by Oschin Family foundation, the State of California and numerous foundations, individuals and corporate donors, the California Science Center Foundation has now raised $280 million toward its $400 million EndeavourLA Campaign goal.

Additional major campaign donors include The Ahmanson Foundation, Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation, Weingart Foundation, and Ibrahim El-Hefni Technical Training Foundation.

“On behalf of the citizens of California, thank you to the many generous supporters of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center project,” said Newsom. “We have achieved this groundbreaking milestone because of all of you, and together we will inspire the next generation.”

“This gift is to honor the legacy of my dear husband Samuel Oschin, who was passionate about adventure and the pursuit of knowledge, especially in the fields of science and engineering,” noted Oschin.

The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center is the third phase of the California Science Center’s three-phase, three-decade master plan to develop one of the world’s leading science learning centers. Building construction is underway and is estimated to take three years. Roughly a year and a half into construction, Space Shuttle Endeavour will be moved off display and positioned in the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, which will then be completed around the full shuttle stack.

The California Science Center Foundation actively invites contributions at all levels from the public to help complete this ambitious project. Go to to find out more.