Friday, November 2, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour Grand Opening Was So Hollywood

 LA we don't have a problem.

 As cheezy as that line was it was nowhere close to how cheezy, but fun the Grand Opening for the Endeavour Space Shuttle was at the California Science Center last Tuesday.

Grab tickets here

The Endeavour up close looks ugly, it looks terrible. It doesn't even look like a real space shuttle, but a movie prop. The tiles that are outside of the ship to stop it from burning up in re-entry makes it look like it's made out cardboard material. The cargo bay with metal connections showing makes it look like it's a pinata. The outside rocket engine on display looks damn right pre-historic with no little micro-chips or special connection monitors and what you'd find in more in current tech. It's only be active since the 90's, but it looks like a very old used car. I'm not judging it on it's looks I'm just saying that when you see something in real life it might be scary.

Movie props might have damn well be good enough to put near the exhibit as the event maintained a campy nature. After Mayor Villaraigosa and Governor Brown gave some great speeches about empowering the youth to think and how the space shuttle inspires young people to learn and try something unthinkable happened.  I Can Believe I Can Fly was sung. This moment was not my brain hemorrhaging, but someone decided to have that song sung, which was fine, because it's Hollywood and we can't distinguish reality from film.

It was so much better to hear the Mayor of Inglewood go over how everyone made a big deal of letting his city's trees be cut down to make a path for the shuttle. He explained it was worth it for how it grabbed his community, made them come out together and inspired so many.

Then they had children dance to a remixed version of the Men In Black theme in suits and sunglasses. Once again, I did not know if my brain had done a back flip and that I was dying in a catatonic state on the floor while my mouth foamed up. No it was real and kids from elementary to high school did some really great dance moves underneath a de-commissioned space shuttle. Uhura from Star Trek, original series, Nichelle Nichols was there too. She really enjoyed "I Believe I Can Fly"

No you can't touch it, well if you're tall enough you might, but it's suspended overhead just enough so you can't. Touching was however having Bill Nye, the science guy, up on the podium talking to kids and explaining why it matters so much to explore space. Every one's speech was find, but  Debbie Allen's. It was about praising the arts and it was very much out of place at a science center.

You had these beautiful moments like Mrs. Linda Oschin getting a picture of her late husband that was on the space shuttle  given to her as a gift for donating so much to the center. You had astronauts signing autographs for little kids. All under the shadow of the space shuttle, which as ugly as it is, is a marvel to be under when you learn about what it's done and where it's gone.

The future calls for a permanent space shuttle residence where it will stand upright and will have a more grand grand opening possibly with the new Star Trek crew or a tie-in with Star Wars.

As I left the event entranced by it's Hollywood style and seing astronauts still signing more autographs I passed a sign for Spacefest outside near the parking lot. The sign had fell over due to the wind just after a custodian had fixed it. I yelled "Sir, it fell out again!", he yelled back "Yeah, the didn't use any tape!" I thought, "They could probably use some science tape or a robot that gives directions, it is the science center".

more photos