California Science Center falls short in fundraising for Shuttle Endeavour


by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 31 at 8:58 AM

HOUSTON—When Shuttle Endeavour left Houston for its new home in Los Angeles turns out it was missing something.

“We have a lot of NASA people here and the roots are actually hurt you know. It’s like a tree. Los Angeles knocked down 400 trees,” said Houston resident Art Aguilar.

The shuttle is being officially unveiled at its new home this week.

In all, the California Science Center committed to a $200 million campaign in 2011 to fund the move of the shuttle and a new building to house Endeavour.  But even with multi-million dollar donations from several major companies, and $15 million raised with the help of foundations, it’s only got about $100 million.

So it is barely halfway there, on opening day.

That’s got some Houstonians’ attention.

“California really fought for that, now they can’t financially support it. Houston, I believe, could have supported that,” said Trudy Lyon.

Shan McDonell agreed.

“I’m sure they would be able to get the funds here in Houston,” McDonell said.

Some speculated that maybe there is a shuttle curse.

The Endeavor has its money trouble, Enterprise which shipped out to NYC instead of JSC, got hammered by Superstorm Sandy collapsing it’s temporary structure and damaging a wing.

“Maybe it is a sign! Think about it, maybe it is,” said Tim Pikey.

The California museum is even soliciting “sponsors” for each of the individual shuttle heat shield tiles on the space shuttle. There are thousands of them and, even if they were all sponsored, it would not close the money gap. You can bet they won’t be getting many donors from Houston.