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California Science Center To Offer Virtual Tours Of Space Shuttle Endeavour Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Starting Friday, the California Science Center will begin hosting a series of four virtual tours of Space Shuttle Endeavour, aimed at educating and entertaining those at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The first virtual tour, scheduled for May 15 — featuring the flight deck, mid-deck and payload bay — will provide rare 360-degree views of the Endeavour. Visitors at the center's Samuel Oschin Pavilion, where Endeavour has been housed since 2012, typically only see the shuttle's fuselage.

"It's a pleasure to invite the public to experience the inside of Endeavour in honor of the Space Shuttle's final mission anniversary," Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph said. "I'm especially pleased that these VR tours include some views that are rare, even for astronauts. Most importantly, the VR tours reveal the complexity of the Space Shuttle Endeavour's operations and the incredible expertise of the astronauts and engineers who steered it through 25 successful missions."

The California Science Center's website will offer several different tours of the shuttle that will be released throughout the spring and summer, giving people across the globe the opportunity to explore the shuttle's interior — from the flight deck to the aft compartment — from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

The Endeavour first launched May 7, 1992 and completed 25 missions into space, including the first service mission to the Hubble Space Telescope and the first mission to add a United States component to the International Space Station.

The California Science Center at Exposition Park closed in mid-March due to local stay-at-home orders, but has been offering free online programs through its "Stuck at Home Science" initiative.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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