Astronauts (from right to left) Drew Feustel, Mike Fincke, Greg Johnson and Commander Mark Kelly speak about their journey on the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center on Tuesday.
NASA officially transferred ownership of the Space Shuttle Endeavour to a Los Angeles museum Tuesday.
The transfer was celebrated at a ceremony at the California Science Center. There, cheers greeted four current and retired astronauts in their royal blue uniforms.
Crewmembers of the Space Shuttle Endeavour displayed pictures from the spacecraft's last mission, which returned in June; and kids lined up at a microphone to pepper the astronauts with questions.
Questions included things like "How many people fit in a space shuttle?" and "What do you eat in space?" One eager child asked shuttle pilot Greg Johnson if space was fun.
“Did you see us smiling in every picture?" laughed Johnson. "We have fun morning to night. We’re very busy, but it’s important for us to take a little time for ourselves and enjoy the company of each other because we are so busy."
"We train for so long," he added, "but we also try to not lose sight of what a wonderful opportunity it is and how beautiful the Earth looks and it just makes you happy inside. So was it fun? Yes, it was very fun in space."
Museum and NASA officials say they're displaying the retired shuttle at the California Science Center to teach future generations about how fun space exploration can be.
The shuttle will be open to excited kids — and parents — as part of an interactive space exhibit that will open within the next five years. Before that happens, however, the space shuttle has to get there. Officials say that won't be an easy move. The Endeavour will have to piggyback atop a 747 jet from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to Los Angeles International Airport. The city of L.A. hopes to parade the craft from the airport to the science center in Exposition Park sometime next year.