#ETComesHome to California

On May 21, External Tank #94 arrived at the California Science Center, where it will eventually be stacked with the orbiter Endeavour and two test rockets and displayed upright as if ready to launch. Lofty Ambitions was there to see it arrive because we couldn’t imagine more fun for nerds on a Saturday night. This particular external fuel tank for the space shuttle is the only … Continue reading #ETComesHome to California

Happy First Flight, Endeavour!

We’ve come to think of Endeavour as “our” shuttle. We went to Edwards Air Force Base to see it land in 2008, we watched its last launch from Kennedy Space Center in 2011, and we saw it make its cross-country trip back home to California, where it is now displayed at the California Science Center. We spent time with Endeavour up close and personal after … Continue reading Happy First Flight, Endeavour!


We will board a plane this Friday: our first flight on an Airbus A380! Even though we have to make our way up I-5 to LAX, we’re pretty excited about the upcoming flight. In fact, we’re very excited. Very. Very. Excited. We’re headed to Paris. It’s a return trip for Anna, but this will be Doug’s first voyage to the City of Lights. While the … Continue reading A380

The California Story (Part 3)

A little more than a week after our quadrennial national election, we wonder about our future in space. As space and aviation bloggers, we yearn for the clarity of a “We choose to go to the moon” moment. Time and time again, we have seen the power of space exploration to inspire, to inculcate aspirations to learn, to imagine, to engage. At our own institution, … Continue reading The California Story (Part 3)

The California Story (Part 2)

Chattering fifth-graders pass around us on all sides. A small group of three—two boys and a girl—stop along a wall that recounts the space shuttle Endeavour’s twenty-five-mission history in text and crew images. The children are tightly clustered, shoulder to shoulder, in front of the placard for STS-134, Endeavour’s final mission. Ken Phillips—the California Science Center’s Curator for Aerospace Science and someone that we have … Continue reading The California Story (Part 2)

The California Story (Part 1: Video Interview)

It’s Tuesday, October 30, 2012. That’s a very important day for Southern California. Today, the California Science Center opens the doors of its exciting new exhibit to the public. That’s right, the space shuttle Endeavour is a now museum artifact. The orbiter’s ongoing mission is education. Dr. Ken Phillips is the curator of this exhibit, and we interviewed him a couple of weeks ago when we were all waiting … Continue reading The California Story (Part 1: Video Interview)

Endeavour Arrival: PHOTOS

For our initial set of photos from today’s arrival of space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center, go to “Endeavour Arrives at CA Science Center (10/14/12)” at Flickr. Those photos are in addition to the fun photos you can see below. We’ll have a thoughtful write-up, of course, and more cool photos, but for now, we’ll let these images be the equivalent of a thousand words … Continue reading Endeavour Arrival: PHOTOS

The Meaning of Endeavour

Endeavour, or the American endeavor (which we now think looks like a typo), means, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, pains taken to obtain an object. The California Science Center has gone to great pains to obtain the space shuttle Endeavour. The twelve-mile, two-day journey of this object from LAX to the museum is one of great pains: tree removal, rolling removal of electric wires … Continue reading The Meaning of Endeavour